Cameroon: HERE ARE THE NEW PROMISES OF PAUL BIYA TODAY NOV 6 2018
SPEECH BY HE PAUL BIYA,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAMEROON
On the occasion of the swearing.
Yaoundé, November 06, 2018
Mr. President of the National Assembly,
Mr. First Deputy Speaker of the Senate,
Mr. President of the Constitutional Council,
Mr. First President of the Supreme Court,
Ladies and Gentlemen Senators,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, let me thank the President of the National Assembly for his words of welcome and encouragement at the beginning of this new term.
Once again, I wish to express my gratitude to the people of Cameroon for renewing my confidence. This will be for me an indispensable support in the exercise of the high responsibilities that I will have to assume during the next years.
The oath that I have just given “before the people”, in the words of article 7 of our Constitution, in the presence of its representatives, has a high symbolic value for two reasons:
It implies an absolute fidelity to the institutions of the Republic, to which I can not derogate;
– On the other hand, it has the value of irrevocable personal commitment to comply with the obligations of the Head of State, as defined by our fundamental law.
As in the past, it is these principles that will guide my action in the service of the Cameroonian people during the seven-year “Great Opportunities” which opens today.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before discussing the prospects, I would like us to take a quick look back together, which will allow us to take stock of the current situation.
The septennate that has just ended did not run out like a “long calm river”.
In terms of security, we were first confronted with repeated attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has sown terror and desolation in the far north of our country. We have faced, together with our neighbors and with the help of our traditional partners. Our defense and security forces, to whom I wish to pay tribute again, have pushed the enemy out of our borders. Today, the situation is stabilized but we remain vigilant and determined.
Subsequently, in our northwestern and southwestern regions, negative forces thought they could take advantage of corporatist demands to try to implement a secession project. There followed a succession of acts of terrorist violence to which the
Government responded by taking necessary measures to preserve public order, as well as the safety of citizens and their property.
It goes without saying that the goal of the secessionists violates our Constitution, which recognizes the “indivisible” character of our Republic.
On the other hand, the desire repeatedly expressed by our people to be better involved in the management of their local affairs has led us to take the necessary steps to accelerate the process of decentralization.
These priority tasks have not diverted us from the need to work to improve our economy, affected by the effects of the global economic and financial crisis, as well as the fall in commodity prices.
To this end, we continued to implement our structural reforms and took steps to improve our fiscal position.
Our “resilience” was hailed by the IMF, with which we concluded in 2017 an economic and financial program supported by an “Extended Credit Facility”. Our efforts undoubtedly explain the gradual return of our growth.
At the same time, while ensuring the sustainability of our external debt, we have given new impetus to our major infrastructure projects concerning energy production, drinking water distribution and road construction. Many achievements bear witness to this.
Despite the difficult economic situation, many projects have been opened in the fields of health, education and social services. It is undeniable that in this area, significant progress has been made.
We have also continued the completion of our institutional and democratic building, with the effective establishment of the Senate and the Constitutional Council.
Thus, against all odds, we have maintained our course towards emergence.
This rapid assessment, which is far from being exhaustive, shows that our country is undergoing a transformation and that it is resolutely moving towards progress.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In a general way, during the coming seventh year, we will take care to consolidate our achievements, while exploring the new tracks, allowing us to seize all the opportunities of a world in constant evolution.
In this spirit, it goes without saying that we will continue our structural reforms in order to strengthen our budget balance and strengthen the sustainability of our debt. Sound finances are indeed the condition for the attractiveness of an economy and, therefore, its ability to accommodate investments.
In this connection, I would like to draw your attention to the changes that are taking place at the international level and which will undoubtedly affect our country.
The rules governing the globalization of trade for several decades are being questioned. Trends in protectionism and even isolationism are gaining ground. There is a clear risk of a destabilizing effect for many countries, especially for developing countries like ours. We will be increasingly affected by the effects of climate change that will affect the lives of our fellow citizens, particularly those in rural areas.
In this context, I think it is appropriate to focus on developing the sectors of our economy that can significantly reduce our imports of goods and services. This policy will have the advantage of allowing us to rebalance our chronically deficit trade balance.
In addition, we are going to achieve a true “agricultural revolution” by modernizing our means of production and further transforming our agricultural products. This should go hand in hand with the provision of new equipment, storage warehouses and access roads. This could strengthen our status as a granary in Central Africa.
A modern economy can not be conceived without the existence of an efficient industrial sector. We have an Industrialization Master Plan that defines the contours and content of a major project in this area. Its realization will be one of the priority tasks of the septennat.
Industry, like agriculture, requires a stable and sufficient supply of energy. We have made significant efforts in this area for some time. The dams and hydroelectric power plants that we built should allow us, in the short or medium term, to fully meet the demands of our economy and
concerns of our people in this area.
But we will not stop there. We will continue to exploit all the available sites and streams in order to make Cameroon a major electricity producer in our continent. We will not abandon rural areas by gradually giving them solar power plants.
In the same way, we will continue to develop our transport infrastructure (roads, ports, airports) for the benefit of our economy, but also to facilitate communications with our neighbors.
On the other hand, aware that the purpose of democracy is to provide the greatest number of living conditions as good as possible and true equality of opportunity, I will persist in devoting all my efforts:
– promote the revival of economic growth, creating jobs, especially for young people, and likely to improve purchasing power;
– to promote the role of women in our society;
– to facilitate the social integration of young people by further developing our education system, at all levels, and with a focus on professionalisation;
– to combat exclusion, in particular by better protecting people with disabilities;
– improve access to public services for drinking water and electricity;
– to strengthen our health system, opening new hospitals and finalizing an effective social security system;
– to promote a social housing policy worthy of the name;
– to enhance our cultural heritage;
– And finally, to give the sporting sector the support it deserves, so that our efforts to host the CAN 2019 receive their just reward.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The great challenges that access to the emergence of our economy requires, which I have recalled, and the commitments I made to improve the quality of life of Cameroonians, presuppose in the first place that adequate conditions of stability and security are brought together. I can assure you that I will make sure that happens.
The objective of emergence must be erected as a great national cause that mobilizes all of our fellow citizens to make Cameroon a modern and socially advanced country.
Both public and private sector agents have an important role to play in this regard. I know their difficulties. I will take the necessary steps to improve their working conditions so that they can better participate in the progress of our country.
Before concluding, I want to emphasize that I have carefully examined the frustrations and aspirations of the vast majority of our compatriots in the Northwest and Southwest. A number of responses to these concerns and aspirations will be made as part of the ongoing acceleration of the decentralization process. As soon as possible, measures will be taken to broaden the scope of local authorities to give them the means for greater autonomy.
As for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism, it will continue to be implemented by the commission dedicated to it.
These and other actions will be taken to address many of the issues that have been the source of the frustrations and dissatisfactions that have emerged in recent times. We hope that this will restore the calm necessary to return to normal economic and social activities. I have the deep conviction that the overwhelming majority of our
compatriots from both regions aspire to find peace quickly within the national community.
Unfortunately, many of them, because of the threat that secessionists continue to impose on this part of our country, were unable to exercise their right to vote in the recent presidential election and, therefore, to express their attachment to our national unity. I ask them not to lose hope and to give all possible support to the action of the authorities with a view to restoring peace. They know better than anyone what would
their existence under the yoke of extremists who have been reigning terror and desolation in their regions for a few months.
To these war contractors, who are undermining our national unity and advocating secession, they must know that they will not only face the rigors of the law, but also the determination of our defense forces and security. I call on them to lay down their arms and find the right path. I appeal especially to young people who have let themselves be dragged into an adventure without tomorrow.
There is no doubt that the destiny of our compatriots in the North West and South West is part of our Republic. With the support of the entire Cameroonian people and convinced that there is an honorable way out, in the interest of all, I will ensure that calm and serenity return to the two regions concerned, with respect for the institutions of which I am the guarantor.
Addressing now to my young compatriots, I would like to tell you not to lose hope, I understood your deep desire for changes that open the doors of the future and allow you to fully develop.
I also understood your desire to participate better in the decisions that affect the future of our country. I will take it into account bearing in mind that the Cameroon of tomorrow will be with you.
By being united, our country, proud of its democratic, economic and social progress, will engage with confidence in progress and modernity.
This is why I ask, here and now, for the Cameroonian people whose patriotism I know, to help me to continue the work of national construction in peace.
Long live the Republic !
Long live Cameroon!