Biya’s Cameroon: Going, Going, Gone 0

Some Cameroonian political analysts have recently opined that President Biya 83 will be unable to attract foreign investors to Cameroon as he approaches the end of his mandate as President of the Republic. Many have argued that with age telling on him and with no clear succession plan, everything in Cameroon now creates a doubt and deters potential investors.

The uncertainty on the political transition currently prevailing in Cameroon is not likely to encourage foreign businessmen, and even Cameroonian nationals who which wish to invest in the country.  Emmanuel Mpouma, a senior economist hinted that there is no provision for a peaceful transfer of power if Biya were to disappear from the political stage.

The President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji, who appears to be the next-of-kin to lead the country in case of vacancy at the presidency of the republic as provided by the Constitution, will be 82 years old on October 26, 2016.  Another Cameroonian political observer, Dr. Louis-Marie Kakdeu was quoted as saying that “this kind of second personality of the republic is not likely to encourage foreign businesses to rush to the gates of Cameroon.”

The issue of the separation of power involving the executive, the judiciary and the legislature including a free press is another pebble in the business environment in Cameroon. Several court decisions, some of which emanate from the highest Cameroonian judicial body, the Supreme Court, so far remain unimplemented. The nation is at the mercy of Mr Biya, his Francophone Beti-Ewondo clan and his appointees.

Dr. Ariel Ngnitedem believes that the age of the President of the Republic is not a factor that can encourage development. The Head of State is much older and his health issues has given the nation a rather vague electoral calendar which is problematic especially that nobody is able today to say whether there will be early presidential election in Cameroon, much less whether Paul Biya will run again for president in 2018. The nation is going, going, gone!!

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from