Cameroon – National Dialogue - Leslie Ngwa, Director of C4D Africa: “Form of State should be up for discussion, talks should be held out of Yaounde”

Par Atia T. AZOHNWI | Cameroon-Info.Net
BUEA - 13-Sep-2019 - 00h37   3288                      
Leslie Ngwa, Director - C4D Africa Leslie Ngwa
Leslie Ngwa, Director of C4D Africa, a registered Think Tank/consultancy based in Cameroon has said deliberations in line with the convened National Dialogue to resolve the crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West Regions absolutely need to include discussions on the form of state.

According to him, there should be “Confirmation that Federation and Confederation as forms of state that equally guarantee unity and social cohesion can and will be discussed,” as well as “Agreement on internal decision-making formula during dialogue”. 

He suggests that decision-making should be based on a system of consensus (nolo contendere) or simple QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) by members whenever consensus fails.

In a proposed Anglophone Crisis Dialogue Checklist, he also posits that for the optics, and given the current context, Yaoundé should not play host to the talks. Ngwa argues that the Pre-Dialogue Phase should provide convincing acknowledgement that the focus of dialogue will be the Anglophone crisis and elaborate measures to prevent other demands from diluting the focus of the talks.

On those to take part in the talks, C4D Africa proposes that membership allocation be based on the following formula: 1/5 for government and the ruling CPDM, 1/5 for other political parties and francophone civil society groups, and 3/5 for Anglophone civil society individuals and groups. His think tank also recommends prior agreement on duration of dialogue and cessation of hostilities/ceasefire (proposes 4-week timeframe), confirmation of observer spots for members of the international community to observe deliberations, agreement to have live-streaming of deliberations on (social) media, stating unequivocally that media access to deliberations will be key for transparency.

As an ethical compass, C4D Africa proposes signed acceptance forms by representatives from anglophone civil society confirming agreement not to accept any political appointment from the current government in the 12-month period after dialogue – especially as far as ministerial positions and positions in top-management of state-owned corporations are concerned. The think tank recommends that members should also sign agreements on financial transparency – requiring them to declare any benefits received in cash or kind as a result of their role as members of the dialogue team.

The think tank strongly recommends the following considerations as key the dialogue process:

  • Agreement on a simple revenue sharing mechanism operational from the 2020 budget (Exp:35-65, 50-50, 65-35) between Yaoundé and the anglophone regions (we also suggest that the Anglophone regions should regain management of their educational system, judiciary system and infrastructure construction projects).
  • Clarity on the future of government appointed governors, SDOs and DOs in the anglophone regions.
  • Agreement on creation of passport and ID Card production units in the North West and South West.
  • DDR to be done at county/divisional level after creating and providing necessary funding to a County Investment Board whose main duty will be the management of the R-component of DDR for former fighters in counties. 
  • Scholarships for children of deceased victims of the crisis (up to the age of 25) (fund to be managed locally)
  • Life-long healthcare assistance for victims of severe injuries (fund to be managed locally)
  • Agreement on liberation of political detainees and prisoners within specific deadlines
  • Agreement on duration of implementation of resolutions by central government. We suggest 12 months maximum (assistance of international community can be requested to make sure this deadline is respected) 

C4D Africa’s principal activities include Communication for Development, Issue and Crisis Management, Research, Training, and Coaching. Director Ngwa is recipient of the 2017 Department of State Franklin Award for combatting corruption in the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Cameroon. He previously interned at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA and holds an MA in International Political Economy from the University of Sheffield in England.


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