The Cameroon Government and the United Nations Development Programme: Accelerating Decentralisation and Local Development in Cameroon
April 27, 2023
On April 25, 2023, the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development (MINDDEVEL) and the United Nations Programme for Development (UNDP) organised a workshop for the presentation and validation of three strategic studies for the acceleration of decentralisation and local development within the framework of the Support Project for the Acceleration and Furthering of Decentralisation and Local Development (PAADD) implemented by UNDP and MINDDEVEL.
The Strategic Studies titled Local Development Finance Assessment, National Report on the Status of Local Development in Cameroon, and Atlas on the Profile of Cameroon Councils were unveiled and officially handed over to the Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development, Mr. Elanga Obam Géorges, by the Resident Representative of UNDP, Mr. Aliou Mamadou Dia, in the presence of the Minister of Basic Education, Minister of Public Works, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Minister of Forests and Wildlife, Minister Delegate for the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, and the Minister Delegate of the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development. The stakeholders present, including regional and local authorities, technical and financial partners, the private sector, and CSOs, highly acclaimed the studies as useful tools for their day-to-day work.
Minister Elanga Obam Géorges, during his opening address, saluted the collaboration of the stakeholders and commended the strong engagement of UNDP in the acceleration of the decentralisation and local development process, while encouraging the full participation of all actors in achieving the objectives of the decentralisation process. "This workshop is therefore an invitation for everyone to get involved in the decentralisation process to ensure the permanent improvement of the population’s welfare. The implementation of public policies must be based on a good understanding of the situation in local areas. It is therefore important to improve the quality of analytical tools, which heavily depend on the quality of the statistical data available. It is equally important that the political vision of local development be embedded in a strategic tool such as the national plan for local development, which would set out the main guidelines." Minister Elanga Obam Géorges.
In his address, the Resident Representative of UNDP Cameroon, Mr. Aliou Mamadou Dia, assured the Government and stakeholders of the unceasing collaboration of the United Nations Development Programme and the UN System in the implementation of the NDS30 and the SDG across Cameroon."We are very pleased to accompany the Government in achieving these important documents that will contribute to the acceleration of the ongoing decentralisation and local development process in Cameroon. The studies will provide actors with working tools to improve the Financing Framework and better development planning at regional and local levels, in line with the objectives of the National Development Strategy 2022-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals." Mr. Aliou Mamadou Dia, Resident Representative, UNDP Cameroon
The objective of the Support Project for the Acceleration and Furthering of Decentralisation and Local Development (PAADD) is to support the Government in improving the living conditions of the population at the grassroots level by strengthening the capacities of the Regional and Local Authorities for sustainable and inclusive local development. Concretely, the project addresses the key challenges identified, such as the quality and quantity of human, material, and financial resources, the lack of infrastructure, the insufficient supply of and access to basic socio-economic services, the low level of involvement of the population in the management of local affairs, and the poor coordination of interventions in the field of decentralisation, which hinder the optimal functioning of local councils and towns. This is achieved in three areas: production of strategic steering tools for decentralisation and local development; socio-economic development of local authorities; governance, promotion of citizen participation, and accountability in the management of decentralised local authorities.
The $3,097,500 budget project funded by the Cameroon Government, UNDP, and other partners is implemented from January 2021 to December 2025 and covers the 374 councils and urban communities in Cameroon. In addition to the three strategic studies, the project has achieved the following key results during the first two years of its implementation: the development of a Statistical Yearbook for MINDDEVEL; support for the elaboration of two Regional Development Plans for the two regions with special status, development of a Control and Audit guide for the Decentralized Territorial Collectivities and the accelerated the updating of the Local Development Indicators
The implementation Government Ministries include MINDDEVEL, MINEPAT, MINFI, MINAT, MINPOSTEL, MINDUH, MINPROFF, MINAS, MINPMEESA, MINADER, MINEPDED, MINJEC, MINEDUB, and CONSUPE, as well as private and financial partners and CSOs including FEICOM, BUNEC, UCCC, NASLA, and ARC.
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