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Entries categorized "Rosemary Ekosso" Feed




CAMEROON: The Haunted Heart of Africa




I bought this book and read it in one sitting because it IS an easy read. In 102 pages the author unravels the manifold maladies that have made the Republic of CAMEROON the de facto sick man of Africa. The cankers that could be attributed to this state of affairs are threefold: dysfunctional government led by an absentee Head of State, Mr. Paul Biya, the system of lackeys set up in Cameroon by France by means of a geopolitical contraption called FrancAfrique and the Anglophone Problem. In the words of the author, "Paul Biya stands as the leader of the renegade forces that may eventually kill the Cameroonian nationalism and lead the nation into the abyss, denying it the realization of its century-old Cameroonian dream of unity, independence , prosperity and open opportunities."(p.50)

This book is actually a lampoon on the Cameroonian Head of State whom the writer portrays as a political caricature: "After becoming President in 1982, Biya has ruled Cameroon more like an absentee caretaker ..."(51). As the author sees it, this status quo has transformed Cameroon into a zombie Republic governed ineffectively by "Paul Biya and his French puppeteers."( p.63). He further notes that Cameroon has been functioning zombie-like during his quasi-presence."(p.63). The writer bemoans the fate of a country whose governmental apparatus "has been hijacked by the authoritarian system..", aided and abetted by the so-called leaders of the opposition(p.63.). In the author's view, Cameroonians have been taken for a ride.

As far as the Anglophone Problem is concerned, the author opines that the Anglophone problem stems from the disillusionment, frustration and anger of peoples West of the River Mungo( Former British Southern Cameroons)"(p.93). He argues that the forces that want to tear Cameroon apart are most visible in the English-speaking (Anglophone) part of the country."(p.101). This statement sounds like a sweeping generalization as far as I am concerned given that Ambazonians are not out to tear down Cameroon. Cameroonians who inhabit the region of Cameroon formerly known as the British Southern Cameroons want autonomy. They are fighting for recognition as a sovereign State.

The author calls upon Cameroonians of all stripes to work in tandem in order to jettison the deleterious system in the country that has kept all citizens under bondage for close to six decades. Sadly enough, the author fails to provide a dependable modus operandi that would lead Cameroonians to the realization of this goal of creating what the refers to as "the New Cameroon".(p.101)

All in all, Cameroon : The Haunted Heart of Africa (2018) is a good read. It would come in handy in political science courses where Cameroon's place on the geopolitical chess board is the bull's eye.

Professor Peter Vakunta, USA.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

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