By Peterkins Manyong
Cameroon has been ranked among five worst countries in the world in terms of governance. The other countries are Iraq, Chad, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Romania.
The information is contained in a Governance Perception Index, a survey carried out by a Harvard University team, led by Robert I Rotberg, a Professor of that American renowned institution.
The survey examines governance in 100 countries. Sweden, Denmark, Botswana and South Africa occupy the first group.
Edward Ngalah, Northwest representative at the National Anti-Corruption Observatory, said Cameroon and the other countries in the group are sending their citizens to misery and death through dictatorship, poor health, poor education, corruption and injustice.
Commenting on the recent results of the Corruption Perception Index, CPI, released by Transparency International, he said Cameroon performed far worse than in previous years, although she was not the least on the list. He said Cameroon tailed the list when the survey involved only 100 countries.
This year she was number 138 out of 163, which makes its position worse.He said Cameroon finds it difficult to improve because governance is bad, the rule of law is almost absent and there is no transparency in management."Cameroon practices voodoo economics," Ngalah said.
He said a small group of people have taken the country hostage. They include party barons, friends and tribesmen to those at the helm of the state.
He recalled a declaration by Central Committee member, Charles Ateba Eyene, who said there are some strikingly rich Cameroonians capable of financing a 30-year war in Cameroon.
Propaganda Not Anti-Corruption Fight
Commenting on Cameroon's approach to the fight against corruption, Ngalah said there is more propaganda than action. "Cameroon government's approach is haphazard and sporadic. Arresting Siyam Siewe, for instance, but leaving his work in place, is far from being the best way of checking embezzlement at the Port Authority.
What government is doing is like curing the symptoms of a disease rather than the disease itself. He said mediatising the fight is a strategy to hoodwink the international community into thinking that the government is moving ahead in the anti-corruption fight, whereas it is only turning round.
The government, he said, has the habit of announcing the amount it has allocated for projects, but never states how much has been spent. When foreign aid is provided for schools, to cite one example, the money for constructing schools is quietly embezzled.
Aid, he said, does not help. To succeed, he said government should look beyond fighting corruption and embrace good governance.
Global Good Governance
Viewing the issue of good governance internationally, Ngalah commended the approach introduced by Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese billionaire, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, who has instituted an award of US 5 million dollars as reward to any dictator who voluntarily quits power.
The foundation is also ready to grant to such a former dictator, 200,000 US dollars annually, for 10 years.Besides, the foundation is ready to support any initiative undertaken by "clean" heads of state to improve on governance.
This approach to good governance is the best, so far, and has been supported by Kofi Annan, outgoing UN Scribe, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Mary Robinson Prime Minster of Ireland.
He was sure President Biya would win the award if he keeps his promise to step down at the end of his present seven-year term in 2011.