Monthly Archives: July 2014

Salary Increment: Biya Makes Mockery of Cameroonians.

Cameroonians have been mocked again by the Biya regime.Salaries of civil servants have been increased by meaningless 5%,a week after the hikes in prices of petroleum products.

A presidential decree increases the basic salaries of civil servants and military men and reducing special tax on petroleum products to reduce transportation of persons and goods in the conutry.

This presidential decree is a big mockery to Cameroonians especially those who work in the private sector.
What becomes of them?Does the 5% person reflect and can change the poor social climate in the country?NO!
The five percent pay rise will have noe effect in the salaries of state workers.

Cameroon Salary on standstill

Cameroon Salary on standstill

There is endermic youth unemployment,lack of water and electricity,under employment,insecurity,low purchasing power etc.There is no way Camerooians could forge ahead with this madness in the country.

The price of petrol rose by 14 percent and diesel by 15 percent, while gas prices were up over 8 percent, the government said on Monday. The International Monetary Fund has for years called for a cut in subsidies, which cost about $600 million (R6.3 billion) a year.

Cameroon has repeatedly stalled the move after deadly protests in 2008 and Nigeria’s failed bid to cut similar subsidies in 2012. A litre of petrol now costs 650 CFA francs (R14.34), while diesel is up to 600 CFA francs a litre.


Tamfu Arison In Another Media Award

The Journal`s Arison Tamfu has won yet another media award, this one in Kenya. The current award comes from the 2014 African Climate Change and Reporting Awards, popularly known as “ACCER Awards” in Kenya.

The awards that celebrate excellence in climate change and environmental journalism in Africa, are organized by the Pan African Climate Justice (PACJA) in partnership with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Oxfam, Sweden and Diakonia.

Tamfus entry, titled “Cameroons Forests at the Mercy of Charcoal Makers,” originally published here in the Cameroon Journal, was awarded the winner in the print category and the second overall winner in all the categories out of over 300 entries and 15 finalists.

Tamfu During award ceremony

Tamfu During award ceremony

Commenting on the narrative that landed Tamfu the award, Barrack Muluka, head of the panel of seven judges told dignitaries who attended the Award Gala night at Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, that “The story takes you to one of the remotest parts in Batouri in the East region of Cameroon. As you read, you see and live it as if you are there. It is a marvelous piece of journalism-with relevant interviews and clearly addresses the climate-change issue in Africa in a detailed and comprehensive way.”

“After the disappointing performance of the Lions at the World Cup that greatly damaged the image of Cameroon in the eyes of the world, this award has restored the pride of honour of my country, Cameroon, at least, in the field of journalism. I am exceptionally pleased and thankful to God and my mother for her love and kindness that has always been my source of inspiration,” said Tamfu after receiving the award.

Tamfu is a multi-award winning reporter. Apart from reporting for the Cameroon Journal, he also reports on current events in Africa for Malaysia’s MSME News Network, Spore Magazine and Diplomatic Observer. He is former Editor-in- chief of the English news desk at Equinox TV and Radio.

Cameroonjournal via Cameroon web

Petroleum Price Hikes:Government Plays Cat and Dog

After the recent price increment in some pretroleum products in Cameroon,the government has carried out different consultative meetings with stakeholders to avert a strike action previewed for Monday 7 July.

When the government announced the decision to increase prices of Gasoil,Super and domestic gas on June 30,reactions from various syndicates was an indication that the administration did not consult these bodies before the decision.And when the bodies decided to go on a strike action,the government now comes in to play cat and dog.

During an inter ministerial meeting held in Yaounde that ended in a deadlock,transport minister gave the impression that all went well,whereas all is not well.
Commerce Minister is now moving from one market to the other reassuring locals that prices of good and services will not increase.

Who is fooling who here?Now the government has succeeded to oil the mouth of some transporters who have back down from an announced strike action this Monday.

Strike action previewed all over the country(credit photo businessdayonline)

Strike action previewed all over the country(credit photo businessdayonline)

IMF possible influence

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had in 2011 directed African nations to discard the idea of fuel subsidy citing rising global oil prices and the Europe recession. The managing director of IMF, Christine Lagarde at that time, visited Cameroon’s neighbour and Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan in December that year to ‘ensure compliance.’

By January 2012, Africans were groaning in pains of fuel price hike and sought to resist the change with by embarking on street protests and strikes. In Nigeria, a nationwide strike that followed the President’s announcement of subsidy removal halted economic activities for two weeks. A lesson might be learn by Cameroon, which introduced subsidy after the 2008 civil unrest over fuel price. Cameroon shelved plans to remove fuel subsidy at the time but international donors will be pleased with the recent move by the French speaking nation, after calls by the IMF for cut in subsidies, which the global lender puts at $600 million a year.

The IMF had been accused in the past of inducing riots in Indonesia during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; its call for removal of subsidies has also been regarded as a similar move to attain a similar result to Indonesia, with several European economies still in the early stages of recovery. African counterparts are experience contrasting fortunes; seeing continues record of unprecedented growth.

The global lender had in May forecast a 5.5 percent of GDP overall fiscal deficit for Cameroon in 2014, citing fuel subsidies as one of the main reasons. It also forecast a further increase in the deficit to 5.7 percent in 2015, apparently informing the subsidy removal by the government of Cameroon.

“The cost of these subsidies remains elevated and crowds out other expenditure that could promote more inclusive growth,” Reuters quoted IMF as saying, reiterating the call for subsidy removal. “The mission advised the authorities to phase out these subsidies gradually and to replace them with targeted social programs.”

The social effect

Violence broke out in Cameroon’s major city, Douala on February 24 2008 starting with a taxi strike to protest fuel prices. The protests spread to other cities, including capital, Yaoundé, even after organisers of the strike declared it was over. Scores died as protests went violent with gun duels reported and destruction of property.

Observers had at the time said that the strike was only a catalyst for Cameroonians to vent their frustrations at the decay in the country’s economic system and deteriorating living standards. Although the country’s economy has been growing at an average of 3.8 percent annually over the past decade, the effect of this growth is hardly felt by the people and therefore a reaction to subsidy removal similar to the fuel price protest of 2008 should be expected in Cameroon.

Already, transport workers have threatened to embark on a strike next week – the 2008 civil unrest started with a taxi strike. The taxi drivers had wondered why fuel prices should be raised without transport fares increased. “If the government wants to prevent the strike, it should also increase transport fares,” said Pierre Nyemeck, head of a transport union in Cameroon.

Why now?

Cameroon has stalled for years to cut subsidies, with fears of a repeat of the 2008 unrest always limiting bold steps from the West Central African nation. It seems determined now to stop subsidies, urging Cameroonians to show some responsibility at this crucial time. “I call upon our people to accept these adjustments with responsibility, understanding and civic-mindedness…,” said Issa Tchiroma Bakary, spokesperson for the government. The government also promised to consider increasing minimum wage, among other measures to lessen the pains the subsidy cut might cause the people of the country.

The pump price of petrol is now 650 CFA francs ($1.36) per litre, while diesel sells at 600 CFA francs and this is what the people of Cameroon would be reacting to. Cameroonians may be unimpressed by the government’s promises and call for understanding as the country’s current economic situation has been attributed to ineffective leadership by President Paul Biya who has ruled since 1982 – a 32-year reign and running. Protests loom again in Cameroon.

Nigeria was faced with a similar situation. Now Africa’s largest economy, with an average GDP growth of 6.7 percent, a large percentage of Nigeria’s over 170 million people still live on less than $2 a day. The effect the removal of subsidies may have on the welfare of the people was responsible for the 2012 protests. The pump price of petrol was increased to N140 per litre from N65 per litre (about $1.51 per gallon) as against less than $1 per gallon in most oil producing nations. The price was pegged at N97 per litre after protests.

With international donors insisting subsidies should be removed as that was best for African economies, the Nigerian government will try again in 2015. The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) had on April 15, 2014 resolved that a subsidy cut was best for the nation, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to act. The government had often argued that the money spent on subsidy can be put to better use. As much as many Nigerians understand the government’s position, most doubt money realized from subsidy cut would be channeled to the right places, with allegation of corruption often smearing African governments.

In a matter days, the immediate impact of the removal of fuel subsidy on Cameroon will be in the news and how the government contains the social and political backlash will be crucial. No removal of subsidy is however expected in Nigeria until after the general elections in 2015.

A possible solution

A 2012 analysis by the African Development Bank (AfDB) suggests alternatives to ‘linear’ fuel subsidies, salient points which would “diminish the full scale cost of the subsidy removal”, while also pushing reasonable arguments for the removal of subsidies. Countries in sub-Saharan have however relatively failed in building people’s confidence in their government, giving rise to protest for almost any policy change. It is therefore important that proper sensitization is done before policies like removal of subsidies, which has great impact on the people.

Nfor Hanson Nchanji with reports Cameroonweb news.

What Killed Limbe III Mayor

The mayor for Limbe three council ,Isaac Inongo Dalle , is no more and his death
sent shocking waves within the party He died at the Limbe Regional Hospital at about 2 30 pm, Thursday, July 3, after protracted illness.

limbe Three mayor zhile on earth

limbe Three mayor zhile on earth

So what actually killed him?
Coming up…

The Noisy France is Out Of World Cup

You could not think that the game was a quarter final game,the tempo was slow.HoweverGermany became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup as Mats Hummels’ first half header gave them a hard-fought 1-0 win against France at the Maracana.

The Borussia Dortmund defender held off the challenge of Raphael Varane to loop home Toni Kroos’ free-kick with his head in the 13th minute.

Mathieu Valbuena and Antoine Griezmann forced Manuel Neuer into fine saves but Les Bleus could not find an equaliser to force extra-time.

Joachim Low’s side will now face the winner of Brazil vs Colombia for a place in the final on July 13.

Mats Hummels Goal

Mats Hummels Goal

Well, they did it again. It’s four on the trot now — a record. Germany have not missed a World Cup semi-final date this century.

It was 1998, in France, when they last failed to be in competition in the last week of the tournament, and they will be there again, in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. Back here again a week on Sunday? There is no reason why not.

Germany did not have the best chances, or play the best football, but they were excellent in possession, decisive and sharp and found a way to win, as the best teams do. As Germany do, so often in fact.

That the goal came through Mats Hummels, a bold selection by coach Joachim Low, just adds to the evidence that Germany are simply at home in tournament football in a way other countries — you know who — are not.

France have a good record of going deep into the competition once out of the first round, too, but they met their match here. Germany were set up too well to let them pass, despite the best efforts of Mathieu Valbuena, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema.

There was a lot of French pressure in the second-half, but the best chance fell to Germany. When Mesut Ozil broke down the left flank, his cross laid the ball on a plate for Thomas Muller, who should have claimed Germany’s second and took the last remaining tension from the game. Instead, he missed the ball, which fell to substitute Andre Schurrle who could not continue his run of five goals in consecutive internationals. Hugo Lloris saved with his feet.

Muller came close in the 71st minute, too, with a low shot that Schurrle could not convert, but this was far from the most impressive German performance of this World Cup.

That, in its way, makes it all the more impressive.

This is a team that finds a way to win, that cuts a path through — that didn’t even pack its suitcases for departure from Rio de Janeiro, because it had no contention of going home. Confident? Arrogant? Check the record. They have every reason to be both.

It was a first-half that vindicated German coach Joachim Low in so many ways. He made change before the match, big changes, brave changes.

Out went Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, in came Mats Hummels, returning after illness. Out went Mario Gotze and the false nine system, in came the veteran striker Miroslav Klose, 36 years old and a goal away from becoming the uncontested top goalscorer in World Cup history.

As for Philipp Lahm, the full-back turned central midfield player under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich this season, he reverted to his more familiar role.

As with all major surgery at a World Cup, it divided opinion — but 45 minutes in there could be no question that Low’s judgement had the evidence on its side.

rance had the best chances, but Germany had the all-important goal — and it came from Hummels, as did a vital 42nd minute defensive block to keep the scores level.

Equally important was Low’s understanding that France’s best weapon was pace and a ball over the top — hence his decision to remove Mertesacker from the line of fire. No, Germany were not flawless in stopping France getting through — but there is little doubt this would have been a very tough afternoon for the Arsenal man.

Hummels goal came in the 12th minute, from a straightforward set-piece that found France’s defence wanting. Toni Kroos whipped the ball in and Hummels got the better of Raphael Varane, so impressive for France until now, to head past the helpless Hugo Lloris.

A reasonable penalty shout in the 25th minute aside — Mathieu Debuchy certainly appeared to pull Klose’s shirt, but the fall was needlessly theatrical and did the German’s case few favours — the best of it belonged to France.

Yet Germany’s ease in possession was impressive, as was their measured styled and, once again, the performance of their goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

He was talked of as Germany’s new sweeper after the match with Algeria, when he appeared to spend much of his time patrolling the outfield area behind the defensive high line, and that seems to be more of a deliberate ploy than a happy accident.

Low deserves credit for recognising that Neuer is as much footballer as goaltender and allows Germany to play in a different way.