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Regional Balance and National Integration in Cameroon: Lessons Learned and the Uncertain Future

Tuesday 11 October 2011, author(s)-editor(s) Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Paul Nchoji Nkwi

This book presents a series of reflections by Cameroon scholars on a variety of topics associated with regional balance and national integration. The different reflections look for answers to some burning questions of the day such as: Where are we coming from? Where are we going? How are we going where we are going? Have the different state ideologies offered appropriate solutions to the quest for a strong, united, stable and prosperous nation-state? If not, what has gone wrong and why? What can be done to shape the future and accommodate the aspirations of the men and women of Cameroon and of their progeny?

The book addresses the issue of national unity and national integration within the context of different political perceptions and visions. It examines the merits and demerits of the policy of regional balance of the Ahmadou Ahidjo years (1960-1982). Focus is also on the underlying flaws of this doctrine and philosophy. The debate also addresses some critical questions of the national integration policy and practices of Paul Biya, President since November 1982. The policy has failed to achieve its stated goals and has ended up in the ethnicisation and polarisation of national life. The future of the Cameroon nation-state, with its rich ethnic and cultural diversity, seems to be in jeopardy as internal forces question the management of civil society by leaders who have lost the sense of justice and equity. Why are there several voices singing the song of destitution and disappointment with the state? Have regionalism and the rhetoric of national integration and balance emerged as untenable polities within a nation-state in search of an identity and responsible leadership? These are some of the questions and issues Cameroonian and Cameroonist scholars have tried to address in this collection of 28 well-researched and outstandingly argued essays.

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ISBN 9789956726264 | 596 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2011 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback