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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Latest: Paul Biya prepares a big sweep

For political philosopher Pascal Messanga Nyamding and member of the central committee of the Rdpc, business gerontocracy has closed the doors, including those of development. 

What is the scope of the speech of the Head of State's delivery speech, especially when he makes the commitment to integrate more young people in decision-making centers?

The President did say that he understood the young people, that he took note that young people do not feel sufficiently involved. There are so-called power and decision-making functions. From the point of view of political science, a power function is a relay position that allows a young person, such as a member of parliament, to influence the local affairs of a political constituency.

A power function is also a function of municipal councilor. A function of power is also functions where we can find young people sitting in a high administration, occupying the functions of general secretary of ministries, the functions of prefect, the functions of sub-prefect, the functions of director, the functions of rector... So, I think that when we look at these functions of power for the most part, we can say that the president is committed to integrating young people into this dynamic.

On the other hand, there are the functions, and here I quote the president, decision-making, which are clearly above the power functions. A decision-making function is more or less a function of sovereignty. These are the positions of President of the Senate, Prime Minister, President of the Economic and Social Council, Secretary General of the Party, the functions of Minister, Secretary of State.

At this level, we can also see that the president has made a number of commitments. I think objectively that it is about reinforcing a visible performance because, when we talk about the involvement of young people, we see that it concerns their administrative and political involvement.

Is the head of state saying that he will involve more young people in political decision-making?

Administratively, nobody can deny today, when we look at the prefects, the governors, with an administration where people retire at age 55, that our administration is not made up of young people. That's why I say we have to be careful, I have the impression that the president will be much more focused on political functions.

That is, the functions of Minister, Director General, the functions of Chairman of the Board and even within the Rdpc where no one can deny that the General Secretariat and most of its members are there for most for at least 25 years. But what is interesting is that the president also mobilizes young people on their responsibility because we tend to turn only on the involvement of young people in the functions of power, decision. But at the same time, the president has warned young people that we have enlisted in war actions, and we must talk about it.

When you see all those who take up arms today in terrorist organizations and elsewhere, 90% of them are young people. I think that globally it is a call to responsibility in a country where 70% of the population is under 35 years old. The president is aware of that, and I think that this time, in terms of positions of responsibility and decision-making, he would also like to have visible young people.

Do you think we can put quotas in the law?

It does not exist anywhere in the world. Nor should people exaggerate. I was president of the Rdpc in France at 23 years old. When we leave the diaspora to return to Cameroon, we are barely 30 years old. He did not do anything about us. I mean, young people who fulfilled the two essential conditions, that is the politicization of youth and competence.

Ateba Eyene (of late memory) and I have been palpable victims of a youth within the party that was put aside. In all serious countries, when one has a rising elite, it must meet the conditions of competence, politicization, sponsorship. Now, with us it's the opposite. We always start with sponsorship. After the sponsorship the rest comes after. We must reverse things today.

Is age not a criterion of competence?

We must be careful about this logic of believing that when you are young, you are necessarily allowed to have a position of power and decision-making. Young people are depoliticized. The price of access to certain power and decision-making functions is also their commitment.

That's why, as a political scientist, I pay attention to all those people, sometimes poorly trained, depoliticized, who have now made age a criterion of competence. Age is not a criterion of competence. That's why I, as a political scientist, pay attention to all those people who are sometimes poorly trained, depoliticized and who have made age a criterion of competence. Which is not true. It is the political parties that are the instruments of the board of all generations in power. For example in Chad, there is a brilliant young person, close to the Idriss Deby Itno party.

He is the director general of customs at 26 years old. There is the case of a person like Emmanuel Macron. There are also the cases of Nicolas Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac, etc. It is not because we are talking about youth that we are going to create confusion. On the contrary, it is necessary to lift this veil to highlight competent young people, that is to say, those who are trained, then politicized. I believe that it is only at this price that the President will be able to carry out his business.

What can be the consequence of not involving young people too much in decision-making?

There is an immediate consequence. We run the risk of a social implosion. Have we sufficiently involved competent and politicized young people? No. I take an example. At the university, I have brilliant diplomats who are militant at the Rdpc and who are 28 years old. The oldest are 30 years old. I have bright political science students, the oldest of whom are 25 years old.

I have brilliant Rdpc activists who are graduating from Polytechnique and who are design engineers at the Department of Public Works. What do we do with it?There are brilliant young people from the CPDR's youth organization, who leave doctors at the age of 28. What do we do with it? When we look at all these social bodies made up of young people, in a structure like the youth organization of the Rdpc which is a laboratory of intellectuals and that someone thinks of the investiture that these young people are absent while they are politically engaged, I say that it is not normal. That's why the President will have to sweep.

They closed the doors, including those of development. As a result, it resulted in alcoholism, idleness, frustration, contestation and the very emergence of the opposition. Because, most of these young people we see today in the opposing parties come from the Rdpc.Well-trained children, but frustrated. We need to change the policy. I think the Speaker is a man of his word. He reached out to both Cameroonians and singularly to a social category called youth. I am in favor of encouraging that.

By the way, who is young and who is not?

We should no longer learn to make the yarn to cut butter. There is the United Nations Population Fund, which has issued what are called identifiable age groups. Which means that from 15 to 20 years, we speak of pre-youth. From 20 to 30 years old, we are young. From 30 to 40 years old, we speak of a young adult.

From 40 to 50 or even 55 years old, we are objectively mature adults. From the age of 60, we are already a post-adult, that is, we have a posture where we can be considered as a young senior. From 70 to over 80, you are already a senior. So, one can objectively say that the age range set by the President of the Republic, in terms of power and decision-making functions, is those who objectively today are between 25 and 55 years old.

For me, whether you are in the Anglo-Saxon standards, in the German-speaking or even French-speaking, global trends;frankly, the youth in the exercise of power, are the 25 - 55 years. Beyond the age of 55, we can no longer objectively be considered as truly young. So, we must use the 25 - 55 years in the political and decisional games.