Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kondengui: Paul Biya's prisoners, Penda Ekoka wants to take action

The economist, throughout his brilliant career, has always had the courage of his ideas that he has presented over the years under various hats. By supporting the candidacy of Maurice Kamto in the 2018 presidential election, he is resolutely committed to change in Cameroon.

It is common to say that we do not know who the future will be. This is even more the case with Christian Penda Ekoka. The course of events concerning him took a lot of short world. Just like this well-known economist, technical advisor to the President of the Republic, once again confused many people. A year ago, and much less time, nobody would have imagined in the dress of the political prisoner that he has been wearing since January 28, 2018. That day, he was arrested in Douala, at the same time time as Maurice Kamto and other executives of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (Mrc). They were at the home of Albert Dzongang, who was also arrested and driven overnight to Yaoundé.

The Saturday before his arrest, Christian Penda Ekoka had been seen walking alongside Maurice Kamto. They had also been seen at the bedside of Michèle Ndoki, who was wounded that day.Christian Penda Ekoka thus continued a commitment undertaken, against all odds, on the eve of the presidential election of October 7, 2018. It is indeed on September 20, 2018 that the technical adviser to the presidency of the Republic announces that he will support the Mrc candidate. He had already made known through some releases that he would not support President Paul Biya in the quest for a new lease at the head of Cameroon. "I will select from the universe of possible support the candidate who will have for me manifested the will to defend the people, to change Cameroon for the population. It is a candidate who must always have the population in mind. I know those who do in the wood tongue, but I also know candidates who really have a commitment to the people to transform the country, to improve the living conditions of the people, "he said. notably stated on a television set.

The launch in early September 2018 of the Agir movement made it clear that years of collaboration with Paul Biya had not affected Christian Penda Ekoka's critical thinking. The movement he launched was intended as a platform for reflection to bring together young people with innovative ideas. He was followed by a number of people who immediately got to work and who, despite the arrest of their leader, are working on various projects at the headquarters of Agir in Madagascar's Yaounde district. They continue to advance in setting up the construction sites of the young association, reinforced by the message of the president who, from his place of detention told them he was well and remained attached to the values ​​that have brought Agir Mrc.

Proposed reforms

For Christian Penda Ekoka, it was important to change course. "For forty years, I have been associated with many reflections that have led to proposals for major reforms. If they had been implemented, the fate of our country would have been much better. I have drawn a fundamental conclusion: Cameroon presents economic and social manifestations (sluggish growth, worsening precariousness, inequality, poverty and insecurity) of an evil whose origin is deeply policy, "he declared.Drawing on his experience as an international consultant, he noted that countries with open political institutions and people with strong business management skills were more successful than those with monolithic political institutions. "I am therefore carrying, with young people, a project, a vision, a movement that will seek to change mentalities, build capacity and influence the political field so that emerge a reformed state where democracy reigns justice, law and prosperity for all. It is as long as we take our destiny in hand, "he said in the founding text of Agir.And why the choice of candidate Maurice Kamto?"We used several criteria, including the candidate's occupation of the field, the volume and frequency of the meetings, the candidate's experience, the candidate's program and, above all, the willingness and determination of the candidate, transform and modernize Cameroon. We did it within the Agir Movement, but in order not to remain in a choice of movement, after having exhausted these criteria, we decided that we should also entrust this selection process to a third party. It is from this that there was convergence between our ranking and the third ranking.

And the one who got the best score is Maurice Kamto. And on that basis, we decided to give him our full support, "he said. For the president of the Mrc, it was a weighty support in his conquest of power, because Christian Penda Ekoka had long been a voice that we listen to, especially on economic issues. Even before becoming a technical adviser to the presidency of the Republic, he never stopped making proposals on various aspects of the Cameroonian economy. His ideas, expressed by Penda Ekoka through the media, within the CPR, the party in power he has been activist for 22 years, but also through the various publications he has made. Even as an activist of the Rdpc, he has always criticized what he considered as failings in the management of public affairs.

While he is in charge of the mission to the Central Committee of the Rdpc, he will be part of the current of the "modernists" in the early 2000s. They will denounce a number of problems in the party and governance of Cameroon, including the white paper they will publish in May 2003. Penda Ekoka, as a spokesman for this current, is often under the spotlight and his words are sometimes hard. We even have the impression, to listen to him, to hear from an opposition leader. In April 2004, invited by the association Contact Media, it draws a dark picture of Cameroon and the Rdpc: a state where there is a certain impunity, a national economy too dependent on international institutions, a country managed according to a colonial logic, a party in power badly led ... But the founder of Agir is above all an experienced economist, who acquired his diplomas at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (Industrial Engineer), McGill University (Management and Economics) and Concordia & McGill Universities (Master of Business Administration (MBA), option Production and Finance) between 1972 and 1978. Holder of a B degree obtained in 1971 at the Libermann College in Douala, he was selected by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for pursue engineering studies in Canada.He will go through a preparatory cycle in mathematics and physics at Brébeuf College in Montreal between 1971 and 1972.

Back in Cameroon, he was employed in January 1979 at the National Investment Company (Sni). He will be a project analyst and, from 1982 to 1992, director of studies and projects. He will cumulatively, from 1990 to 1992, managing director of the Hilton Hotel Yaounde. "As head of a team of more than twelve (12) executives (including engineers, economists, lawyers) my main task was to lead and coordinate activities related to the development and financing of projects including: identification, evaluation opportunity, the preparation of pre-investment studies, the evaluation of the investment decision, the search for financing, the implementation and control of projects in sectors such as agro-industries ( palm oil refinery, sugar complex), mining (rutile, iron and steel, bauxite / alumina), metallurgy (hot rolling mill), chemistry, building materials (cement plants, concrete reinforcing bars), food industries ( Mineral waters, flour mills, tomato canneries), industrial fishing (trawler fleet), poultry industries (breeding, slaughterhouses, conservation and packaging, livestock feed production), hotels (Hotel Hilton Yaounde), banks, maintenance (shipyard and industrial), tertiary processing of wood, etc. "He says.

Consultant for the World Bank

When he left Sni in 1992 (resignation), he created the firm Business Development Service (BDS or InsightBDS) where he is chairman and managing director. He specializes in engineering and project financing, investment consulting, economics and industrial strategies, capacity building of public and private institutions / companies. Its services are in Cameroon and in more than 25 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. BDS is accredited as a consulting services provider to the World Bank Group.Alongside the many requests, he does not miss an opportunity to give an opinion on the course of business in Cameroon. And always very critically. Hence the surprise of some observers when he becomes in 2010 technical adviser to the civil cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic.Christian Penda Ekoka will never lose his freedom of tone. In November 2017, he said, for example, in an interview: "When the IMF congratulates the leaders of the economy and finance of a country, I become very worried about the development of this country. As far as Cameroon is concerned, I am worried about the achievement of the objectives of the policy pursued by the Head of State, because they aim at satisfying the economic and social aspirations of his compatriots, but in this respect we are far from account. The compass of the Head of State is not the IMF, it is his compatriots. And the ministers are collaborators of the Head of State, not of the IMF ". Before delivering to Jeune Afrique, in September 2018 while still serving in the civil cabinet of the President of the Republic and member of the Rdpc: "Why would I fight for a candidate that I do not support? "

At 67, Christian Penda Ekoka father of three children. He is a member of a number of professional associations (Alumni Association of Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, American Association of Industrial Engineers, The Competitiveness Institute). He is also the author of several articles on economics, poultry farming, financing of the economy, public-private partnership for infrastructure development: challenges and opportunities for developing countries;analysis of the respective issues and risks of the actors in the public-private partnership; risk compensation in the public-private partnership. In 1997, he published an essay entitled "Cameroon: Towards the Third Millennium". In 2013, his firm, Bds, published "Cameroon: Land of Hospitality and Opportunity, your best business companion". The environment in which he finds himself today is not the most hospitable, but the economist is continuing the fight to allow Cameroonians to benefit from the opportunities that their country offers.

Source: day 2899