MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD OF STATE HE. PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA TO THE NATION-CAMEROON ON THE OCCASION OF THE END OF 2013 AND NEW YEAR 2014
The year 2013 has brought in Cameroon real reasons for satisfaction, paving the way for bright future. Allow me to explain. Elections, Senate on April 14, legislative and municipal September 30, took place in a calm and transparency. All observers have confirmed.
I think we should see the expression of the maturity of the Cameroonian people who understood that stable institutions and sound policies needed to achieve social progress. The few bugs reported were not such as to call into question the validity of these elections. It should in this connection honor ELECAM. Enhanced legislative and municipal credibility has amply justified the time required for the introduction of biometrics in our electoral system. So I think we have all the reasons to be pleased with this new advancement of our democratic process.
The significant increase in the number of women in Parliament and in municipal councils is also a sign of progress. Anyway, after the establishment of the Senate and the decentralized territorial communities, creating within a reasonable time of the Council Constitutional will complete the institutional structure provided by our Basic Law.
Our policy horizon is now well clear. The time is now to serious debates on issues and objectives that take Cameroonians heart. These problems are, you know: purchasing power, employment, living conditions. In other words, this is what our people are entitled to expect a prosperous and fair economy, a just and cohesive society. course, for us it is not a revelation . In recent decades, we have spared no effort to improve the lives of Cameroonians. We did, despite a sometimes tense political context of the economic crisis and threats to peace. Significant progress – perhaps unevenly distributed – were recorded.
I will take two examples: health and our major projects. Given the resurgence of malaria and its most severe form affects young children, we negotiated the assistance of international partners. With their help, we can make free treatment of this pandemic in children under 5 years. Furthermore, I am pleased to announce that the health map of our country will soon be enriched by the opening of three referral hospitals: the National Center for Emergency Yaounde Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Pediatric Douala Hospital Reference Sangmélima.
Regarding our major projects, the first generation are, as you know, running or startup phase. Regarding the second-generation projects whose Implementation is planned from 2015, studies and research funding are currently under negotiation. These include infrastructure of energy production, transportation, water supply, roads and highways, as well as industrial and mining equipment. As you can see, our economy recovers colors and a kind of national consensus is perceptible on the objective of emergence.
I think we need to mobilize all our energies to this cause and throw all our forces in the fight for growth. It seems that our efforts, however laudable they may be, will not be enough at their current pace, the Cameroon becoming an emerging country in 2035. This friendly warning was sent to us by the international financial institutions. It is in our interest to be taken into account. In 2013, our growth rate is 4.8%, which is below our forecasts were 6.1%. There are certainly far nothing dramatic but it is clear that we must redouble our efforts.
Our growth is being supported by buoyant oil revenues and public funding. Private investment remains about him enough. We still need to improve the business climate. This does not absolve us of course to pursue structural reforms and to continue to strengthen fiscal discipline. We still undoubtedly room for improvement to improve the efficiency of our economic policy.
We have a strategy for growth and employment, which indicates the way forward to achieve our goals. But where does it come so that the action of the state in some sectors of our economy, sometimes seem to lack consistency and readability? Therefore, in many cases, delays in decision-making they are still bottlenecks in the implementation of projects? How to explain any part of our territory can not display any public investment budget execution rate of greater than 50%? Finally, it is legitimate to question the usefulness of certain committees monitoring projects, which do not lead to any decision. What we need in the coming years, it is a true emergency plan. With the ECSD, we dashboard. We must act now. Our short-term priorities are known, namely: straighten the curve of our growth, creating jobs and maintaining a high level of performance over several years in a row. We need to fix it, from the roadmaps of deadlines missed.
Doubtless he will be imperative to tackle the causes of our shortcomings by removing bottlenecks, dispersal areas and duplicates. Would we be able to do what other countries comparable to ours have done or are doing? I do not think so. We have men, women and young talented, resourceful, well-trained and enterprising, able to meet these challenges. We have natural, abundant and varied resources. We have institutions, modern and democratic. Our country has peace and stability. , Then we he misses I think we have to make progress on two important points. primacy of the general interest and the coordination of our efforts Though devoted to our communities of origin – which does not prevent us from being fervent patriots when national honor is at stake – we are more concerned with personal success than general interest individualistic people. Our Administration remains permeable interest.
The latter is often incompatible with the interests of the national community. In a modern state, this tendency must not be tolerated. Most of our major projects involve, at one stage or another in their implementation, the skills of various services. I’m not sure that the necessary coordination between them has always held. We will undoubtedly improve things from this point of view. My dear compatriots, I would like to draw your attention to a problem that, in recent months has taken a worrying dimension.
That our security. There is little again, we faced, in a way, a “classic” insecurity. In simple terms, we could say that in urban areas, we had to fight against the small and organized crime and in remote rural areas, against the “bandits.” For some time, another form of crime, cross-border crime , grew alarmingly, particularly in the north and east of the country. It is explained by the presence near our borders gangs motivated by extremist ideologies and greed . They do not hesitate to introduce our territory to commit their crimes.
The phenomenon is not entirely new. However, it has recently experienced a sharp increase, as shown, there is little an attack in the district of Kette east of our country. We deployed elite units in the area to counter these intrusions. past few months, the Far East, these off-the-law engaged in kidnappings, including foreigners, in order to ‘ransom. We all still remember the capture of a French family, MOULIN-FOURNIER. We managed to secure their release through cooperation with the Nigerian authorities and French services. More recently, it is a French priest who was forcibly taken to Nigeria. I condemn in the strongest terms these unspeakable acts that target defenseless people, including children, in order to profit.
Obviously we do everything we can to prevent and respond to such acts and we will continue to do so. This is the place for me to congratulate the elite units that ensure security in these areas and ask the local population to give them the necessary cooperation. Terrorism is also rampant on Ocean for some time. His motives are mainly financial. But the methods are the same. This is boarding ships to plunder the contents and remove the crews for ransom. The Cameroon has experienced in its maritime space. phenomenon has spread to the entire Gulf of Guinea to the point of compromising the maritime trade of the countries located in this area.
A first answer was given at the summit on maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea, held in Yaoundé on 25 and 26 June. were seen, either on land or at sea, safety, which is primarily a national affair, has a collective dimension, if not international. It should not be underestimated. Where it is not guaranteed, anarchy sets in excess multiply the economic and social progress stops. Examples of the degradation of society are not lacking, unfortunately on our continent and even in our nearest external environment. course, the affected areas of our territory remain marginal. But we are on our guard. Our security forces on the ground can occur at any time. This is an opportunity for me to say that each of us must be aware of the advantage that there is to live in a stable country where the institutions are functioning normally, where the safety of people and goods is ensured and where any citizen may provide hope of a better life.
The current situation in the CAR can see where can lead to instability and disorder. Massacres, looting, displacement, have become the daily life of this brother and friend. It was the duty, and that is honor, Cameroonian soldiers participating in the operations of the multinational force aimed at restoring security and protect people in our immediate neighbor. Dear compatriots, We are in a so the crossroads. Growth is within our reach, our budget is viable, our sustainable public debt, short our economic and financial situation allows all hopes of prosperity. Or we take the easy road in postponing reforms. And then in 10 or 20 years we will have a backlog as we can hardly meet the needs of our population. Or we set high goals, by imposing a rigorous collective discipline. And we will be firmly on the path of emergence.
This last choice I would suggest. The effort and courage. When concrete signs of our democratic, economic and social progress is increasing, I invite you to a new burst of patriotism. I believe we can do better. I do not ask you sweat, no blood, no tears, but only commit yourself wholeheartedly into this new phase of our great national purpose.
At the dawn of this new year I would like, on your behalf, speak to our Indomitable Lions. Dear Indomitable Lions, you are qualified for the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. We want you to follow in the footsteps of your illustrious predecessors glorious campaigns in Spain in 1982 and Italy in 1990. Let us vibrate again. Cameroonian people are with you. Finally, I am pleased to announce the release of Father Georges Vandenbeusch. Through the efforts of our services, supported by Nigerian and French authorities, religious, devoted to his mission found Today freedom.
And now, dear compatriots, let me introduce you to you all, my most sincere wishes for health and happiness for the New Year. Happy New Year 2014!