This recent and ongoing crisis has greatly handicapped the North West and South West regions of Cameroon in particular and Cameroon in general.
Imagine, living during this information age – in a country where over 80% of the population are youths – youths who have had a dependence on information and in particular – the internet – are forced to spend days without internet connectivity?
This is just the tip of the iceberg - the North West region in particular has and will experience an acute economic downturn for the following reasons:
- Due to the uncertainties and irregularities of unpredictable events, many organizations, financials institutions, multinational NGO’s, private investors and entrepreneurs as well as individuals have already pulled out their investments and resources from this region which is not termed a volatile settlement.
- Youths and students who attended schools in these regions will now face an uphill battle in meeting up with their peers from other regions who will have to compete for same jobs and same public exams.
- Youths and members from these regions have now been tainted with a negative stereotype stemming from the misunderstanding that was evoked during the recent crisis. These stereotypes will form the basis of even further marginalization, as they will attempt integration in the public life.
- Youths from these regions, especially the North West region, have now been induced with a mindset of survival through resistance – a bottom pit for hopelessness and key driver for vulnerability which further cements their adherence to pseudo-natural beliefs and the back door to religion.
- Due to the recent happenings in these two regions, the government will further tighten opportunities and benefits that were intended for these regions. This may further widen the gap of marginalization especially with respect to the fact that the elites from these regions have made very little or no investments in these regions. We are now faced with a vulnerable population that will only further depend on the same government they mounted a resistance against.
- A civil association should be created to foster engagement and promote investments in these regions by its elites, well wishers and entrepreneurs with a common goal to absorb the growing youth population
- Youths in Cameroon should, for the first time, be involved in choosing their leader during the next presidential elections due for 2018.
- The proposed leader must be someone who is young and with an entrepreneurial mindset fortified with heightened understanding of common issues to feasibly navigate any diplomatic environments.
Leadership entails three main components: vision, strategy and tactics. So therefore, every leading body must meet these three components to have an effective game plan for its intended purpose.
The recent and ongoing Anglophone crisis in Cameroon has been stultified greatly and now meets its demise due to several elements that could not be achieved by the leaders of the civil groups that became prominent.
1. The organizers and leaders of the civil groups did not put in place a contingency plan in the event of their absence – they had no organizational plan with core objectives and plan of action with respective timelines.
2. The organizers and leaders of the civil groups did not foresee the possibilities of the present outcomes. They failed on the core element of leadership – vision.
3. The organizers and leaders of the civil groups did not have realistic plans and goals. Their initial demands were very valid and realistic. With mounting pressure from public groups – they failed to maintain these demands and so failed to make gains on the negotiation table.
4. They were/are not negotiators – this was a core case that called for negotiations and not liberation. In negotiation, you learn to hold with one hand while requesting more with the other – they refused and walked out of offers made by the administration – a negotiator would have done otherwise.
5. The timing of the planned events was wrong: orchestrating a general school boycott in the middle of a school term and then into the New year was unethical. We have now ended up with more victims than victors – a major cause for concern.
6. The organizers and leaders of the civil groups were misinformed about their expectations and outcomes: misinformed in believing that the school year will be cancelled by UNESCO if the NW and SW did not meet certain number of school days. Today, as schools will resume soon, students of these regions will remain disadvantaged as they will have to compete with students from other regions who stayed in school throughout.
7. The organizers and leaders of the civil groups were misinformed about their assertions that the United Nations, African Union and other foreign bodies were to have an input in favor of the crisis.
8. The diaspora was misinformed about their expectations of staging a protest at foreign embassies. Today, despite the many protests across the globe, we have done more to wash our dirty linens in public.
9. The propagation of messages from so many unknown sources – unverified and non aligned with the common goals - most of which have formed the basis of the government’s rebuttal and ability to snatch victory in the face of defeat.
10. The lack of a coordinated effort among several vetted teams and valued individuals whose contribution would have better shaped the outcomes we now envisage.
11. Vision, strategy and tactics requires reasoning with little or no emotions. The government played by the book – the protesting people played by their emotions and expected the experienced government to be emotional towards their requests.
12. Staging a struggle that involved the public school teachers (most of them public employees) and lawyers (private stakeholders) was a call for concern. This is because while these public teachers earned salaries during their inactive months, the lawyers screeched through their savings, if any.
13. The leaders and organizers of the civil groups did not properly understand the historical context from which their claims were based on. We must agree that the history of this nation has been greatly distorted for the interest of the ruling regime. It was difficult using the same text that made them to win them on their playground – they have had more than 34years of experience, training and preparations for moments like this.
Written by The Great Anonymous.