Thursday, April 16, 2020

Paul Biya launches 'Marshall plan' for the Anglophone regions

12,000 houses, 350 schools, 115 health centers, 40 bridges are among other projects to be carried out under this plan.

We know a little more about the budget and the plans for the national reconstruction plan for the two English-speaking regions. 90 billion FCFA are mobilized by the State and donors to start the reconstruction of 12,000 houses, 5,000 km of low-voltage power line, 40 bridges, 115 health centers, 600 km of roads, 400 water points, 350 schools, etc. These figures were released on April 15, 2020 by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute. It was during the official installation of Paul Tasong and Donatus Njong, respectively as coordinator and assistant coordinator of this plan. 

The Minister for the Economy and the former mayor of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) of Kumbo, are responsible for carrying out this "Marsshall plan", which will have to revive these two regions socially and economically bruised for almost four years by a war between separatists and the army. In a report published in July 2018 and updated in October 2019, the Inter-employer group of Cameroon (Gicam), deplored in 3 years of conflict, the loss of companies established in these two regions, to more than 785 billion FCFA and 16,760 jobs.

For example, the two largest agro-industries in the two regions, the Camerooon Development Corporation (CDC), the second largest employer after the state with 20,000 jobs, is almost bankrupt and requires, according to its management, 70 billion of FCFA to be reborn. Ditto for Pamol, a little less affected, but which still requests 9 billion FCFA to run at full speed. During an interview with our colleagues from Radio France Internationale (RFI) in December 2019, Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education estimated the cost of the reconstruction of the two regions at 3,500 billion FCFA. Suffice to say, the reconstruction of NOSO will be tedious in view of the war that continues between the belligerents in a very tense economic and socio-political context. The coordinator of this plan nevertheless indicates that it will soon begin in the pacified villages. This plan, we learned, will be supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).