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AN ASSESSMENT ON THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION ON THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CAMEROON

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AN ASSESSMENT ON THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION ON THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, situated in the region of Central Africa, has abundant natural resources and exhibits a notable degree of cultural variety. Cameroon has enduring obstacles in attaining sustained progress across many sectors, notwithstanding its inherent capacity for economic growth and development. Political participation is a generally acknowledged and crucial element in influencing development results. It refers to the active involvement of individuals in political processes and decision-making (Mbaku, 2019). Nevertheless, the intricate and little researched connection between political engagement and national growth in Cameroon persists. Throughout its history, Cameroon has had a range of governance systems, including periods of colonial administration by Germany, followed by subsequent periods of authority by France and the United Kingdom. The nation achieved independence in the year 1960 and has since had notable political transformations, notably the implementation of a multiparty democratic system in 1990. Notwithstanding the aforementioned alterations, Cameroon persists in confronting challenges including political instability, corruption, and social inequality (Ndoh, 2018).

Researchers have emphasised the significance of political engagement in promoting democratic government, societal unity, and comprehensive progress (Chiluwa, 2019). Nevertheless, further investigation is needed to delve into the precise mechanisms via which political involvement impacts development results in Cameroon. The socio-political environment of Cameroon is influenced by several factors, including ethno-linguistic variety, regional inequities, and historical legacies of colonialism. These factors have the potential to affect the connection between political engagement and development in the country (Mbaku, 2019). The current body of research provides valuable insights into the difficulties and possibilities associated with political engagement in Cameroon. According to Kwankam (2021), scholarly investigations have been conducted to analyse the influence exerted by civil society organisations, the media, and political processes on the formation of citizen participation. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of comprehension about the impact of various types of political engagement, such as voting, lobbying, and community organising, on certain development results, such as the alleviation of poverty, the advancement of infrastructure, and the enhancement of social welfare. Hence, the primary objective of this research is to fill the existing information vacuum pertaining to the influence of political engagement on the overall progress of Cameroon. Through the analysis of the mechanisms by which political engagement impacts development outcomes and the investigation of contextual factors that mediate this association, the primary objective of this study is to offer empirically-supported perspectives that can guide the development of policies, foster citizen empowerment, and contribute to the pursuit of sustainable development in Cameroon.. Therefore, the study assess  the impact of political participation on the national development of Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Cameroon, despite its vast natural resources and substantial economic potential, nonetheless has many obstacles in attaining sustained national development. The degree to which political engagement impacts the course of development remains little understood. Although political engagement is often praised as a fundamental aspect of democratic government and socio-economic advancement (Nguiffo, 2018), more examination is needed to determine its specific influence on national development outcomes in the specific context of Cameroon.

The extant body of research provides valuable insights into the significance of political involvement in promoting responsible governance, societal unity, and fair allocation of resources (Tchakounte, 2015). Nevertheless, the precise processes by which political involvement leads to concrete development outcomes, such as the alleviation of poverty, enhancement of infrastructure, and development of human capital, have not been thoroughly investigated in the context of Cameroon.

Furthermore, Cameroon encounters distinctive socio-political dynamics, including ethno-linguistic variety, regional inequities, and historical legacies of colonialism. These factors have the potential to influence the intricate connection between political engagement and development results (Mbaku, 2019). In addition, it is important to acknowledge that several obstacles, including political instability, corruption, and inadequate institutional capacity, may pose significant barriers to public involvement and impair the achievement of development objectives (Ndoh, 2018). Hence, the primary focus of this research is on the dearth of complete comprehension pertaining to the influence of political engagement on the overall progress of Cameroon. Through an examination of the mechanisms by which political engagement impacts development outcomes and an exploration of the contextual factors that mediate this relationship, the objective of this study is to offer valuable insights that can inform the formulation of evidence-based policies, promote citizen empowerment, and contribute to sustainable development endeavours in Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to  assess  the impact of political participation on the national development of Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Evaluate the level of political participation among citizens of Cameroon. 

Determine whether there is a significant correlation between political participation and  national development

Assess the effect of political participation on national development.

To proffer recommendation aimed at promoting inclusive political participation in Cameroon

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is the level of political participation among citizens of Cameroon?

Is there a significant correlation between political participation and  national development?

What is the effect of political participation on national development?

What are the recommendation aimed at promoting inclusive political participation in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant in the following ways

Informing Policy Decisions: Findings from this study can inform policy decisions aimed at enhancing political participation and fostering development in Cameroon. By identifying the mechanisms through which political engagement affects various aspects of development, policymakers can design more effective policies and interventions.

Contributing to Academic Discourse: This study will contribute to the academic discourse on the relationship between political participation and development outcomes, particularly in the context of Cameroon. By adding empirical evidence to the existing body of knowledge, researchers can refine theoretical frameworks and methodologies for studying this relationship in diverse socio-political contexts.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on assessing  the impact of political participation on the national development of Cameroon. Empirically, the study will evaluate the level of political participation among citizens of Cameroon, determine whether there is a significant correlation between political participation and  national development, assess the effect of political participation on national development and proffer recommendation aimed at promoting inclusive political participation in Cameroon

1.7 Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Political Participation: Refers to the involvement of citizens in political processes and activities, including voting in elections, participating in political campaigns, attending public meetings, engaging in advocacy, and joining political organizations or movements.

National Development: Encompasses the sustained improvement of economic, social, and environmental conditions within a country, aimed at enhancing the well-being and quality of life of its citizens. This includes advancements in areas such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, poverty reduction, governance, and environmental sustainability.


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