Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OpinionThe Illusory Imagery of an Emerging Cameroon 2035 Brandished by our “Eye Servants”

*No Good Monitoring Framework Mechanism “3,000 Africans” die every day of a mosquito bite. Can you think about that, malaria? That’s not acceptable in the 21st century and we can stop it. And water-borne illnesses – dirty water takes another 3,000 lives – children, mothers, sisters . . .our city is filled with dirts, each day we breath in death on our daily businesses while council efforts to keep the city clean is limited with focused attention on centralized powers… that has affected decision making that affects the rural masses and their health. If we’re to take this issue seriously, and we must, because in 50 years, you know, when they look back at this moment . . . they’ll talk about what we did or didn’t do about this country bursting into flames. It’s an avoidable catastrophe Controversies in regional balance in Cameroon has been mounting over the months as major projects are focused in some particular parts of the country who consider themselves so parochial in power entrenchment that no one can speak even un- behalves of the voiceless in a blind family. Cross section of civil society groups have been asking as to why !The execution of public contracts lacks monitoring framework where goals can be measured at the end of the day to see if success has been achieved or not; strategic educational programs that should compliment students in realizing academic objectives, poverty alleviation through sustainable job creations. The respect to human rights in the exchange of information from government to private enterprise as well as health ramification program; the list can go on and on. The government should have first of all formulated strategic framework for community partnership between state owned enterprises and civil society organizations to combat widespread poverty around the country. Through these partnership people will be best managed and goals realized in shorter period of time. This is intended mainly to promote social development and combat widespread poverty in low-income earners. Subsequently, the need to monitor and report on progress toward the goals led to establishing quantified targets for each objective and specifying indicators for measuring progress. However, recent assessments of the status of the MDGs reveal that progress in achieving them has been mixed and slow. In its report, the Millennium Project (developed under the auspices of the United Nations) noted that although several countries are on track to achieve some of the goals, many others are falling away, particularly so in Sub-Saharan Africa. Several of these recent reports have recognized that growth is a key requirement for improving living standards, and emphasized the need for a ‘big push’ in public investment in education, health and infrastructure in order for Cameroon to meet up by 2035. The state should recognize the role that infrastructure can play in stimulating growth, particularly those aimed at improving productivity and reducing production costs in agriculture The development of transportation networks is also viewed as particularly important in the regions to stimulate trade – both domestically and internationally; the need to speed up spending on infrastructure (both for ‘new’ investment and operation and maintenance) in the country. To finance this big push, and given the limited ability to raise domestic resources through taxation or borrowing, donors have been called upon `to provide generous debt relief and scale up official development assistance which this must be regionally balance to curb rural exodus and urban congestions. Domestic production requires effective labour, private capital and public capital in health and infrastructure (namely, transport, energy, water supply and sanitation, and telecommunications). The stock of private capital is calculated by applying the standard formula associated with the perpetual inventory method. In the case of public investment, however, we account for the possibility that a fraction of the resources invested in investment projects may not have a positive impact on the public capital stock. While public capital in infrastructure improves the productivity of the private factors used to generate output, public capital in health improves the quality of labour employed in production. Effective labour is a composite input, which is produced by the actual stock of educated labour and public capital in health. In order to take into account congestion effects in the provision of health services, the stock of public capital in health is scaled by the size of the population. To account for congestion effects associated with domestic production activity, lagged output is used as an indicator of the intensity of use of (or pressure on) public capital in infrastructure. Domestic output is allocated between exports and domestic sales, based on relative prices. Population and ‘raw’ labour grow at the same constant exogenous rate. The transformation of raw labour into educated labour takes place through the education system, which provides schooling services at no charge. A key input in this process is a composite public education input, which is defined as a function of the number of teachers and the stock of public capital in education. In addition to teachers and public capital in education, production of educated labour requires also access to infrastructure capital. The case with Cameroon is too crucial that government give schools without structures. The University of Bamenda, ENS Bambili and a host of others are in dilapidated state, CCAST structures built some 50 years back with no renovations. This is a crucial feature of the model. As many recent microeconomic studies have found a positive impact of infrastructure services on educational attainment, both directly and indirectly (through an improvement in health indicators). A better transportation system and a safer road network (particularly in rural areas) help to raise school attendance. Electricity allows more time to study and more opportunities to use electronic equipment that may improve the learning process. Cameroonians have been tortured from the hands of AES Sonel with continues power disruptions and electricity supply despite exhorbitant bills paid. Government negligence to solve this mess is only relegating the nation from emerging as being sung on our national media yet neighboring countries are enjoying free electricity supply from Cameroon and small countries like Equarorial Guinnea which came just yesterday is making marvels and creating history progressively in domain of acute sustained development. Greater access to safe water and sanitation enhances the health of individuals, thereby increasing their ability to learn. Our hospitals even lacks safe water, educational institution lacks access to safe water for students; these should be checked. As far as we know, this model is the first to account for these effects in a quantitative macroeconomic framework. This adds an important channel of transmission of public investment to growth, through human capital accumulation. A congestion effect is introduced in the stock of public capital in education through raw labour, which captures pressure on the education system. Educated workers are employed either in the production of goods or in government, some of which (teachers) in the provision of education services. The assumption that consumption depends on current (rather than permanent) income reflects the large body of evidence for low income earners, which emphasizes either tight liquidity constraints or short planning horizons. Cameroonians should note that Private investment is a function of the rate of growth in domestic output, private foreign capital inflows and the stock of public capital in infrastructure. The latter variable captures the existence of a complementarily effect – by increasing the productivity of private inputs, or by reducing adjustment costs, a higher stock of public capital in infrastructure raises the rate of return on capital and leads to an increase in private investment. The share of population with access to safe water is taken to be a function of population density, real income per capita and public spending on infrastructure. The effect of population density on access to safe water is positive because the cost of building infrastructure capital tends to drop with higher density. Similarly, increasing real income per capita raises the share of population with access to safe water, possibly as a result of ‘demand’ pressures. And naturally enough, public investment in infrastructure raises access to safe water – both directly and indirectly. Laxity in public service harms state economy, Impeding spontaneous growth, regular operations, promoting the go slow tendency guised with propaganda and flattery. Is there then any way forward only the said 2035 will tick right the propagandistic imagery exhibited daily before us over National Media of ongoing development works while insatiable money mongers hide behind to keep siphoning the huge resources of the country, impoverishing the poor daily. By Tamukong Roland

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