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« Embezzlement At CMC:Manu Dibango To Face Court Charges | Main | Bamboutos Trudge On As Union Are Eliminated »

Friday, 22 April 2005

Comments

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Assam

Decracy, regime change and reforms begin in the Universities.It about to happen in Cameroon.Students deserve better they are our future leaders.GO STUDENTS GO.keeep doing your thing till they change.
IN DIASPORA

Assam

Decracy, regime change and reforms begin in the Universities.It about to happen in Cameroon.Students deserve better they are our future leaders.GO STUDENTS GO.keeep doing your thing till they change.
IN DIASPORA

Ndze Ntuv Evaristus Tunka

RE: YAOUNDE VARSITY STUDENTS TAKE TO THE STREETS
It's sure high time the goverment of Cameroon sees to the plight of University students. Sometimes when I sit and compare Universities here in the US and what we have in Cameroon, I feel ashamed.Cameroonian students are treated like shit, and the university authorities care about is squeezing money out of the students. Look at the deteriorated structures of campuses, students asked to pay for tutorials and all that. What is happening to our educational system? should we then complain when degrees granted by any of our stae Universities is hardly regarded elsewhere? the students of Yaounde I sure are doing the right thing by striking. I call on all other students of the various state universities to follow suit so that things like the promulgation of students statute, and better conditions for students can be achieved. It is our rights as students to choose through election Rectors and Deans of Faculties people who would better represent our needs, not just academincally, but socially, instead of having leaders who because they are appointed do not care about the plight of students. The time for matching words with action is due. The government of Cameroon should not sweep through this time around with promises of looking into the issues in the days ahead or using coersive measures to shut the students up. Some thing needs to be done and the time is now.
Ndze Ntuv Evaristus Tunka
Minnesota
USA

Ndingi

The Yaoundé varsity student strike is a genuine one and would urge this action be given the attention it deserves in this age of "democratie avancée". As a culprit of the diabolic system in my days in that university, I'll not be happy for these same students too undergo thesame torments both psychological and what not we witnessed in the hey days of democracy in the early 90s. Cameroon is the only country where students are treated with impunity. How on earth can students be asked to pay for using a library? First and foremost, was the library created for demons and not students? Do these students even have the basics for a healthy life sustainance conducive for academics? It is even a taboo to mention that students should pay for receiving lectures during tutorials which are meant for coaching and narrowing the student-teacher relationship in view of the massive numbers during regular lectures in the giant amphiteathers. I know from experience that most doctoral students who teach during tutorials lack basic survival, life sustaining resources. It is therefore, the responsiblity of the university to cater for the needs of this desperate fellows whom one would not actually blame for their malignancy. I wonder what the university administration is doing with the fees collected that they can't even meet up with lecturers of tutorials. It is time for the government to act and restore the dignity of the Cameroonian student.

Janvier Tchouteu

An organized, effectively led and clearly focused pro-democracy student movement would be indispensable in the next phase of the struggle to get rid of the evil French-imposed system. That would require a great deal of cooperation with the force that would be capable of unifying the diverse exponents of change.

Lessons should be learnt from the past which showed the weaknesses of the student movement. The errors should be addressed and the resolve must be built. The moment to strike would be when the students and society in general cease from being just unhappy and become wrathful. That would also be when the system and the regime in power commit an inexcusable crime against the people. They got away with many inexcusable crimes before, but with an effective organization and proper timing, the exponents of change of which the students are an indispensable part be a part would bring down this system.

Keep up the demands my dear young compatriots. I am proud of you guys picking up the student struggle after a decade in the doldrums. In the link below is an assessment of the mistakes to be avoided, from an analysis of the student movement of the 1990s.

http://www.icicemac.com/nouvelle/index.php3?nid=3413

Rev M L Rene

I want to thank the leaders of that strike action.I know that Biya and his corrupt government will not act until you get on them.Peaceful demonstration and strike actions are the present wind of change that is blowing around the globe. Led Mr John Fru Ndi and the SDF learn from this students. If you care so much about the plight of Cameroonians, you will not allow elections to be stolen and you sit and watch. Fri Ndi had the gouts to pick on a news paper vendor, but he will allow Biya to stay.Is that not funny?

Monik Awasum

Dear brothers and sisters of UNIYAO I, I think I stand on the side of those who thought of this strike action. Biya and his gang want to turn peace-loving cameroonians into slaves. Go ahead and be the champions!

It is a pity that you were sent away by the bishop and by the Red Cross, and this paper didn't tell us how they surported these striking students.

I make a fervent call on all other universities to follow this peaceful protest marches and let the world see what Biya and his gang want to hide from the face of the international community.

Could Rev. M L Rene stop mingling things the way he is trying to do!

Rolland A


My dear students and fellow compatriots as one of our early contributor to this article said,the university millieu has a very big role to play as far as change is concern.We encourage you to keep up.Mark you that we are aware of all nonse information the authorities are propgating to show that they not to be blame.l encourage to be steadfast,sort and handle those students who will be bought out.
This your move is laudable as it will take care of those lecturers who have forgoten their place in the academic millieu.Who have welcome the fact that showering praises to the flamable party in power is more than the universally laid down principles(of excellence etc) for universities.So, if you allow it to continue it will completely ravage universtiy education in this country.

neba funiba

Monik
I agree that we should focus on what the students are doing and leave Fru Ndi alone.

CAMELIUS NGWA

why leave Fru Ndi Alone? Just as we try to give them moral support,Fru Ndi should offer an SDF point of view on this matter. Only collective efforts can resolve issues of this magnitude. He should be out supporting these children. Fru Ndi is a big disappointment.
CAMELIUS NGWA

Sverige Posten

For those of you who can remember history...a combination of STUDENT STRIKES and others led to the downfall of Charles De Gaulle in .

Student strikes if well handled and properly co-ordinated can remove that despot from power.Unfortunately....this can never happen in Cameroon where they are aleways idiots who ae willing to sell their conscience even for 5frs CFA.

It is rather an unfortunate situation to see people whom the very regime had described as our leaders of tommorrow been neglected in this manner.These guys in power no longer cares.Everyone is busy collecting and wiring cash abroad since this is Biya,s last tenure in office.We don,t have what we call management culture in Cameroon.You will not even believe that the University is not the only victim in this game.Every other aspects of public infrastructure except where Biya is co-ordinating power is crumbling.
Letz wait and see where the student strike will go from this point.

site.admirer

Sverige posten... u dey report here too? lol

Who told you guys that this trike will change anything. Fame Ndongo is simply making fake promises to lur the students into their classrooms. I am just pitying Sammy Chumbow. A perfect man in a rotten society and situation. abeg we are used to this bla blah blah...

make Popol Leg-out of gov't first... the rest shall be added unto us!

Hostia

really this is the best thing i have read today .thanks for the strike .cameroonian students are treated like shit .tell that old fat pig to change everything .we have a watchful eye on him .

R. DeSouza

I am not a sceptic, though it would appear to be a vice of form by starting off with that statement. I have lived through a few student strikes in that very UYI campus. When the leaders are called up for negociations with the government, the strike is destined for an early grave. Let us be honest here for a while. You think the powers that be don't know what a real university is supposed to be like? Do they need students to tell them what should be done? These same big-wigs who lord over the education of young Cameroonians have had opportunities to study in proper academic institutions. They know what is supposed to be put in place to make a university worthy of academic credit. It is a complete mockery of the word university to have a few buildings with inappropriate study facilities, no laboratories, no adequate library, no dedicated staff, a place where there is no educational culture, etc etc, and just simply brand it university.

I don't have any opposition to tuition fees for example, provided that the education got from such an institution would be worth the money. And I think we should be moving away from the scenario where people take education for granted, towards a personal valuation of being properly educated. So many of us have studied, study or will study in places where young people take loans to pay for education. Of course I know the economic situation of Cameroon may not be suitable to compare with the others. But what I am saying is that students should have a genuine interest and hold valuable the education that they receive. And that, I think, is the reason why students should get up and say 'NO!' when these basics about the quality of their education is abused.

A lutta continua... ... a vitoria e certa!

Nforsama

until Biya leave power there is no hope in cameroon.well let the students strike anyway but unless the rotten tooth is pulled out the mouth must eat with caution.We have heard all sorts of promises since Biya came to power let things are going from bad to worst just coz he careless about the country he Biya says he loves so much.And will die in power.If such sit down strikes could change situations we would not still be here.Cameroon has been privatized by the Biya regime.Universities are managed in Cameroon like private properties.No checks and balances no accountabilties just nothing.If any body is place anywhere in Cameroon to manage its a chance to get all what they can out of the palce as if to milk a cow.That is what Biya is doing to cameroon.I hope that he does that and leave forever.I wonder if he knows where Sadam is right now.He used to think that he was the master that he was a reincanation of King Nebucanezar of Babylon which of course is in Iraq.AND BEHOLD the same thing that happen to Nebucanezar happend to help he went leaving in holds like animals and hard hairs a long as that of a wild beast.Unles Biya leave the office we are just beating a death horse.The problem inCameroon is Biya let him go and we will have all other things including what the students are asking.I don't care much who comes but at least let there be a change let Biya forgive OUR tresspasses if at all we did sin and leave.Howevr, God has the best answer whent Danial told Nebocaneza he surely did not beilied.So why would Biya belief?He is God let him be there.But i know his turn shall come not far from now.
Sorry for poor students who can't even afford food meney.No jobs and just messery and pain.Yet we are told we have a government.Cameroon has been longed privatized by Biya and his dum asses that are following him.

sango

R de Souza, I was happy at least to read from one who did not let his/her sentiments cloud their judgement. I believe the students should strike for genuine reasons and they have very good reason such as teachers taking bribes, toilets and good drinking water, I must admit, it is embarssing to know that a school like UNIYAO does not have these. However to cite school fees as one of the reasons they're striking is an insult to the intelligence of the students. I pay library fees in my university, heck I even paid one when I was in high school back in pays. The only difference is they were hidden in "school fees" and nobody cared to check what the "school fees" meant, my parents just paid it. I guess the university decided to go on a user pays scheme charging 25frs for use of the library, I don't know thier reasons but maybe they did so in good faith. For the students to say they should scrap school fees because the gov't claims growth rates, I mean common this is just so rediculous. It seems to me, at least in my mind the students organising the strike are just activists who don't like school or maybe they were just inflating the claims they were making to make the strike look more legit. I'm not trying to say they don't have good reasons for concern but some of the reasons they gave are just too rediculous and I'm even embarassed to explain this to my colleagues.
sango

stanley mungwe

I am a former student of the Mathematics department of the university of Buea.I don t like the way the Buea guys are soft on the administratiion.I think it is time for them to take to the streets as their friends of uniyao, i think all of use can join to make higher educational condition better.

Gerald

Sango,
I am really appalled at your comments above. You claim to be more sensible than the striking students but i find your contribution preposterous. What do you refer to as 'genuine reasons'. Look, it is the responsibility of the government to provide education to all citizens and if the student beleive the government can do it for free given the much heralded economic growth, then they are very right. What is the essence of economic growth if citizens including students are not taken care of. Mine you, this is what was obtained in the past before the present regime introduce fees on grounds that state coffers were empty. If the government is claiming that the country has had remarkable economic growth in recent years, then it is very logical that they should be some money in the coffers for its citizens including students. I live and school in a country where education is tuition free for both nationals and foreigners and have never heard the government of my host country claim they have recorded economic growth of the type announced in cameroon in recent years. I don't know if cameroon has its own meaning of economic growth but i beleive the major outcome should be an improvement in the living conditions of citizens including students and not subjecting them to further misery. To charge students money for using the library is ludicrous. All the grievances of the striking students are genuine and i find it errorneous to insult the organisers.We should encourage and support such bold initiatives rather than criticising the brave and courageous men and women behind.

Afeseh Ngwa Hilary

Somebody calculate the 50,000frs paid by all the university students in this country and see how many land cruiser prados we can buy with that. how may prados do we get even for clerks in this country? Students here should not pay fees in state universities because Cameroon can afford it.
I second the strike action and wish more university students had enough guts to join in this laudable effort. Keep it peaceful, keep it meaningful. Gov't must react! This country belongs to us, and we cannot continue to be fugitives in our homeland.
Thumbs up!

sango

Gerald, I won't argue with you because u seem to have no grasp macroeconomics and the way gov'ts function.
sango

Ambe Johnson

I think many folks commenting here are doing so without a clear understanding of the systemic, financial and other challenges faced by State universities in Cameroon. A good place to start will be the following articles available on the web:

1. Reforming a National System of Higher Education: THE CASE OF CAMEROON. Available at:
http://www.postnewsline.com/2005/04/strongyaounde_v.html#c5237072

2. University Strategic Planning in Cameroon: What Lessons for Sub-Saharan Africa? Available at:
http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n47/v11n47.pdf

********************************
when this is done, you guys can come back and tell us if university fees should be maintained or not...

Ambe Johnson

CORRECTION:
Article # 1. is available at:
http://www.adeanet.org/publications/wghe/wghe_cameroon_en.pdf

Maxwell Esame

Do we want to go back to the era of free money ("EPSI"), "free and useless education", 1:134 student-teacher ratios and 70% failure rates at UNIYAO?: A Remider of the situation before 1993 and the financial situation of state universities now:

1. The universities’ budgets were provided entirely by the State, without contributions from either the
direct beneficiaries or the larger community. With the onset of economic crisis in the late 1980s, the State was forced to reduce its budgetary support (see tables 3 and 4 with particular reference to University of Buea). Most importantly, budget priorities became distorted. For example, the University of Yaoundé in 1991 used 46% of its budget for staff salaries; 43% for student bursaries, feeding and lodging; and just 9% for teaching and research. Student welfare had turned into a higher priority than the fundamental mission of the University: teaching, research and contributions to national development.

2. The negative consequences of these deficient conditions soon became apparent. Success rates
became understandably low (about 30%), resulting in high attrition and drop-out rates. Unemployment of graduates increased, due in part to the mismatch between the university education received by graduates and the capabilities required by the labour market.

3. In the case of the University of Buea, practically all of the budget (over 90%) before 1992/93 was provided by the State. After the elimination of bursaries and expenditures on student welfare and
following the introduction of registration fees in 1993, government has still continued to provide over 70% of the University’s financing. Income generated by the University itself, consisting mostly of student fees, now constitutes about 27% of the budget.

4. Consequently, the State still continues to provide the bulk of the costs. However, the degree and constancy of such funding is very precarious as the university competes for scarce funds with other sectors which the State also finances. On the average, the University of Buea received only between 19% and 30% of its requested subvention between 1992/93 and 1996/97.

5. Little or no funding for investment has been available, and this has created enormous problems. Other sources of funding are difficult to harness in a situation where the private sector and industry are also tottering under the burden of structural adjustment.
...

Source:
http://www.adeanet.org/publications/wghe/
wghe_cameroon_en.pdf

Gerald

Sango,
I don't think i am suppose to be an expert or a professor in macroeconomics to know that a government is suppose to cater for its citizens or that economic growth should result to an improvement in the welfare of its citizens. The students are complaining that tuition fees should be abolished because of recent 'economic growth' that the country has recorded which is logical given that the same fees was introduced because the country was witnessing economic slump. I beleive it is the responsibilty of the government to give a tangible explanation to the students why this is not possible rather than for someone to describe their complain as 'ridiculous' or not genuine. We don't need macroeconomists to tell us that Cameroon is heavily mismanaged as the indicators are there for everybody to see. Might be you should go and give some macroeconomics lessons to the government of Cameroon. The last time i consulted my economics text book, economic growth was defined as 'An increase in an economy's ability to produce goods and services which brings about a rise in standards of living'.

Ambe Johnson

Hi Gerald,

I believe you did not read the excerpt by Mr. Esame or visit the links posted in this thread.

Contrary to what students claim, the end to bursaries was part of a national and international policy (backed by the World Bank) which aimed to professionalize African universities, make them financially autonomous, refocus their attention to education and research instead of being welfare institutions. That these much delayed-measures were instituted during the crisis does not erase this fact.

So we can safely say that there will be no return to the free money of the 70s, 80s, and early 1990s. A handful of deserving students will receive scholarships, and NOT the plethora of "students" who visited Yaounde once a month to pick up money for a job not done...

Imagine a "university" where 1% of the budget is allocated to research and about 70% to student welfare!!! And we wonder why we have thousands of semi-literate grads roaming the streets!!

If we want quality education, we will have to make the required sacrifices.

The improved economic situation simply means that students can now offord pay MORE for tuition, and that the government can also increase and stabilize its contribution to university budgets; money that will be used for critical projects such as Internet access, multimedia centers, laboratories, etc.

As long as students are striking because of welfare issues, they are out of order. If however, it is about the quality of education, then they have a point. And in this case, they don't.

Gerald

Dear Mr Johnson,
To be honest with you, i haven't read through the article you are refering to but i think you got things mixed up somehow.I think there is a big difference between award of bursaries and providing tuition free education and from the original news article in the post, the students were not clamouring for the former.
The students are asking the government to scrape tuition fees and not to re-institute bursaries or 'free money' as was the case in the 70's and 80's. Remember, the government did not only abolish the award of bursaries but also introduced tuition fees on grounds that the state could not longer fund universities single-handedly due to the economic slump which was very clear and logical. I don't see why it is wrong for students to ask for the cancellation of tuition fees now when the government is claiming the country is experiencing a steady economic growth.I mean, they are not asking for free accomodation or free food. It is the right of the students to also feel the effects of the economic improvement. For people to describe their grievances as ridiculous or inflated and even labelling the organisers 'activist who don't like school' is unfair.If the government can't scrape fees because resources are directed to other areas like teaching and research,infrastructure etc students should be capable of seeing and feeling it. I don't see how you provide quality education in campuses without toilets and potable water or by charging students for tutorals and for using the library.The government of cameroon is very irresponsible and that is the bottom line.All the fuss about focusing on teaching, research and profesionalism is empty talk.

MYSTIK For TIKO

Well it has happened again. The hand that feeds the mouth has been beaten. Now what?
Strike or no strike, B Mvondo will still take our money, kill our people and stay in power. All we do is sit back and watch. Salaries cut to the bare minimum, prices of commodities jacked high, yet nobody is man enough to take to the streets. Are Cameroonians so scared to all take to the streets for a peaceful strike action against this terrible government? What is wrong with us? This is high time to emulate the example of these disgruntled students. They are doing the right thing at the right time and they need our support.

Can anyone tell me one good thing that B. Mvondo has done for Cameroon? How come we have protests in other countries but not in Cameroon? Those students have done their part, it is time for all Cameroonians to follow suit in a nation-wide strike against the ills of this ruling junta.

To you B. Mvondo, your day is coming and you shall give an account of every penny you spent from our country coffers. I have my questions for you and you will only see me when that day comes.

To all Cameroonians, lets join the strike action. University of Buea students, wake up from your slumber and act, for the time is now.
God bless those students. More grease to your elbows

Pilot

Bravo, Bravo brvao, to all the students who have made their voices heard. Congratulations, you are not cowards and your voices must be heard. I call upon all Cameroonians to speak out. How long must we suffer? Why are we so afraid to call a spade a spade? Students are expected to study under horrible conditions. Yes the big gongs do not care becuase most of their children are in better Universities abroad. If they believe what they have been telling us for years that the youths are future leaders, they should improve on the current study conditions. If we can not equip and provide funds for research we should stop pretending we have universities, for we have made them a little less than high schools.
Once more bravo. The change will come and it will stay.
Pilot in Disapora

Premus Kika Ade

My Dear student Colleagues,
Indeed it is high time the sick baby should be delivered. It is time for the pregnant Educational upheavals to come out for world to see. There comes a time in life when the cup of endurance runs out, and the mounting pressure explode, then greater positive cahnges will sprout out and will be welcomed by all.
I think this is the time.
I assure you, the blood of our brothers that have been shed in both UB and UY will not go in vain. Natural laws will not allow this to happen, without better days ahead. Even if the strike should stop now, history will be written with a pause, 'THERE LIVED SOME GREAT STUDENTS, WHO FOUGHT FOR THEIR FUTURE, AND THAT OF THEIR COUNTRY.' Keep it up. All I can do is pray for you people.

Fon Emmanuel

The government of Cameroon occasionally and reluctantly recognizes the contributions of individual citizens whose private efforts glorify the nation at home and abroad. No one for sure would know when government appreciates the efforts of any individual in any domain. The minds of our politicians have been so polluted with jealousy, and suspicion so that no one for sure actually understands when the government would frown or appreciate an effort. All the politicians see is someone trying to steal their show and thus their livelihood.After putting his all in footballthe government grudgingly made Milla an ambassador of sorts and now Manu Dibango is having his turn. When they do things half heartedly like this the citizen they want to acknowledge can easily be caught in their traditional web of blackmail, intrigue and betrayal.
I won’t waste time here trying to judge this venerated citizen of Cameroon. Rather I would like to question the purpose of such organisation like the CMC anyway. Its predecessor SOCINADA and other contraptions before it had similar tales to tell. What has been the difference with the Cameroonian musician ever since? What in the first place is the purpose of such an organisation? Things like that were created in the dark days of monolithic political dispensation to control musical content under the guise of propping young talents and assisting the music industry at large by controlling and enforcing copyright laws. In short to stamp out piracy. But since the staggering level of ignorance in Cameroon is so profound in nearly all aspects of human existence that it does not longer look like simple ignorance, the irrelevance of such an organisation in today’s competitive market systems economy is beyond the comprehension of our musicians and even the society at large. Take for example university students take to the streets to demand that government abolishes library fees they are asked to pay. I feel humiliated, embarrased and too scared to even think that these children are ignorant of what goes on in other countries. Yes, if the government can offer free education let it, but is it not normal for fees to be paid in any school? In our days the government paid us to attend school. We loved it and wished it could continue. But that was an abnormality because back into the 17th century people paid to attend school. But before I heap all the blame to these unfortunate students it is good to understand too that those in charge of these universities - from politicians to school administrators must have failed to make the students be aware of what is going on in the civilized world. But how would students even know better when basic learning facilities are just absent? If there can’t be toilets in school would there be internet?
Indeed things have gone so bad in Cameroon that one wonders how they keep up in this fast pace-high tech world of today. Imagine this bizzare scenario. I was in Bamenda last month and a friend of mine shot a drama and recorded it on a single CD. He had trouble convincing people that it was a full production of whatever he had put together. Why? Because the average Bamenda man because of the proliferation of Nigerian films always on two CDs has come to know that films must be on two CDs and any other thing is just not a film. Tell them that there is another gadget called the DVD player and they would think you must be a con man. Even put a DVD player side by side with their popular VCD players the difference is still light years from them. Yes, at one time all of us were not abreast with all these but for Christ’s sake its about time we know better. I could not believe anything like that. This DVD ignorance surprisingly does not exclude even the so called computer experts in town. In every level of common daily awareness in Cameroon gross ignorance is so manifested that I have come to understand why our socio-economic development has not only stagnated but derailed so much. But if you agree with me that our so called leaders are also just normal Cameroonians like us all you can now begin to understand the source of our plight. Like I mentioned above their concept of development is myopic so any attempt of a contrary view from whoever, that would be interpreted as a challenge to their self esteem, manhood, and above all their source of survival.
I decided to expose what I see as gross ignorance by most Cameroonians in many aspects of modern life to try to make more emphasis on the music industry. In 1993 I left the US and returned to Cameroon with the idea of letting some budding musicians in Bamenda see why they should detatch themselves from that SOCINDA mafia. When they cited piracy I was prepared for an answer. Simple economic theory holds that consumers would buy what would give them utmost satisfaction for the least possible cost. For example I had observed that the Washington Post at the time sold for a meagre 25 cents a copy in the Washington Metro Area. How many copies they sold each day is for the reader to guess. One could even buy one copy from the checkout counter in Giant, forget it at a filling station and won’t hesitate to buy another as he stops at a neighbourhood Seven Eleven store. After all it was only 25 cents - change money. But if you make a relative comparison with the cost of any newspaper in Cameroon one understands why the newspaper sales in Cameroon are so low. I know people will just chirp in now about cost of production. I have been in the business and I understand that unfortunately one important price determinant is quality and that quality is simply associated with price. So most Cameroonians think that lower price reflects lower quality, and secondly surprisingly conventional wisdom in Cameroon holds that a certain amount is the price that should be - and in this case 300 frs cfa. is that price. Just glance on almost all papers in Cameroon. Each costs 300 francs cfa. But consumer common sense holds that if a paper costs as much as a regular restaurant meal the potential average consumer would prefer a meal to a news paper. It does not need so much scientific analysis to make such a conclusion. Would you get a meal for yourself or a newspaper if you had only 300 frs to decide on? Now compare it with the Washington post. If people had to use what it takes to get a regular hamburger from McDonalds or Burger King to buy a copy of the Washinton Post or Washington Times, sales will plummet overnight.
If affordability could allow thousands of people buy a paper nobody would need to convince businesses before they advertise in papers through which the publishers will make more money. Nigerians know this business and that is why they have a vibrant media industry. They averagely do not earn better than Cameroonians yet one Nigerian can afford buying more than one newspaper in a day.
Luckily papers cannot be pirated but the prohibitive prices in Cameroon create a duplication of readers and not buyers. Who is the looser?
But how does this relate to CMC and piracy? It is simple. For lack of judgement artists have been brainwashed to think that a collective action under the auspices of a powerful organisation would combat piracy and assist young musicians. But firstly the issue of piracy can never be defeated by any law. In any naïve thinking somebody would think the law can do it because he\she visualizes an armed gendarme or policeman pushing shoving and threatening a poor discotheque operator because he was caught taping and selling Petit Pay’s last album. How many pushings, shovings and threats does he make in individual homes where there a dual tape deck stereo where these same albums are made for free for family and friends? What is the percentage of these home piracy? The piracy on the street is just a tiny fraction of that done in legitimate businesses on the streets. The economics here is simple. So long as duplicating an album is cheaper than buying the original the artist will be outwitted by piracy - it does not matter how many SOCINADAS or CMCs are created. It does not matter also how many law officers are deployed in the streets. With the proliferation of computers and disk writers all over the place every body can be a pirate today even without intending to be one since they hardly know the contents of what they are copying or burning. ?. Unconscious piracy? Now with CMC producing artists’ songs and putting astronomical price tags on their CDs it makes matters worse. In Baffousam and many other towns in Cameroon, pirated recorded CDs sell between 400 and 500 frs cfa. They are as good as the originals. Why should I buy a CD for 1500 frs cfa marketed by SOCINADA or CMC when I can buy one for 500? One must be an embecile to do that. Excuse me for being blunt. One reason some would advance is that pirating hurts the industry. If I as a consumer has to take care of an industry, who takes care of me? In the real world the moment I can buy what I like for the best possible price guaranteeing the best possible satisfaction I have been taken care of. Anything short of that is impracticable and consumers must circumvent it by all means. So why do they have to worry when money goes missing in CMC? Why do musicians let crooks handle their money only for them to complain again? The fun here is that nobody compels them to join those organisation. With technological advancement in recording either the CDs or Audio tapes at every door step my advice is for musicians to produce their own songs in any neighbourhood home or office facility. There are hundreds of them now and quality professional jobs can be done even on pay as you sell basis. Sell your songs at affordable prices to make piracy more expensive. Piracy can be fought only with the price mechanism and nothing else. The issue is simple. If a consumer cannot buy what he wants and can make it, he makes it and there is nothing you can do about it. The law officers won’t help you either. They are part of the consumers themselves and I don’t need to tell you how corrupt they are. So if the money does not end up with them, CMC gets it and you the artist will always remain the looser.

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