Home » Political Science » ASSESSMENT OF FOREIGN AID AND ITS IMPACT ON CAMEROON'S POLITICAL ECONOMY

ASSESSMENT OF FOREIGN AID AND ITS IMPACT ON CAMEROON'S POLITICAL ECONOMY

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ASSESSMENT OF FOREIGN AID AND ITS IMPACT ON CAMEROON'S POLITICAL ECONOMY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Foreign assistance has historically played a crucial role in influencing the economy and political environments of the nations that receive it. Foreign assistance has significantly influenced the developmental trajectory of Cameroon, a republic situated in Central Africa, subsequent to its attainment of independence in 1960. The primary objective of this research is to provide a thorough evaluation of the characteristics, trends, and consequences of foreign assistance on the political economy of Cameroon (Dreher and Lohmann, 2015). Foreign assistance has long been a prominent component of the field of international relations, exerting a pivotal influence on the developmental priorities of several nations worldwide. According to Galiano, Knack, Xu, and Zou (2015), Cameroon, similar to many other developing countries, has received foreign assistance from a range of international donors and organisations. The introduction of foreign assistance into the economy of Cameroon has often been seen as a driving force for socio-economic advancement, with the objective of mitigating poverty, enhancing infrastructure, and promoting sustainable growth. Nevertheless, the precise influence of foreign assistance on the political economy of Cameroon continues to be a topic of contention and investigation.  Located in the region of Central Africa, Cameroon is a nation that has a significant abundance of natural resources, including oil, gas, agriculture, and minerals (Girma, 2015). Notwithstanding the presence of these resources, the nation has a multitude of issues including but not limited to economic disparity, corruption, political instability, and insufficient infrastructure. Foreign aid aims to tackle these difficulties via the provision of monetary support, specialised knowledge, and measures to enhance capabilities. Nevertheless, it is important to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the efficacy of foreign assistance in attaining its desired goals and its ramifications for Cameroon's political economy (Setargie, 2015).  The comprehension of the intricacies of foreign assistance and its ramifications on Cameroon's political economy has significant importance for several reasons. First and foremost, it enables policymakers to evaluate the efficacy of existing assistance methods and pinpoint areas that need improvement. Policymakers may enhance their methods by assessing the results of previous aid programmes, so ensuring that assistance is more aligned with Cameroon's development goals and helps to sustainable growth (Alan & Carlyn, 2015). Furthermore, an examination of the effects of foreign assistance on Cameroon's political economy offers valuable perspectives on the wider intricacies of aid reliance, governance frameworks, and socio-economic progress inside the nation. The comprehension of this concept has significant importance in cultivating self-sufficiency and diminishing dependence on external aid over an extended period (Asongu, Efobi, & Beecroft, 2015). 

Furthermore, the connection between foreign assistance and the political economy of Cameroon is intricate and diverse. According to Asongu and Jellal (2016), foreign assistance has the potential to enhance the government's ability to allocate resources towards essential areas such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. This, in turn, may contribute to the advancement of economic growth and the improvement of social welfare. Conversely, reliance on assistance has the potential to weaken domestic accountability systems, exacerbate governance difficulties, and distort local markets, so resulting in detrimental outcomes for sustainable development. 

Given the aforementioned factors, the objective of this study is to do a thorough evaluation of foreign assistance and its influence on the political economy of Cameroon. 

1.2 Statement of the problem

Foreign assistance has a substantial influence on the economic terrain and political dynamics of nations that receive it. For Cameroon, a nation that has received significant foreign help in the past, it is essential to comprehend the consequences of this aid on its political economy (Fosu, 2015a). Nevertheless, despite the influx of foreign aid, there exists a deficiency in conducting a complete evaluation of its influence on Cameroon's political economy.  The focus of this study is to examine the diverse impacts of foreign assistance on several dimensions of Cameroon's political economy. Jones and Tarp (2015) argue that an examination of the impact of foreign assistance on governance systems, political stability, economic growth, poverty alleviation initiatives, and overall socio-economic advancement in a country is warranted. Furthermore, there exists a dearth of lucidity on the extent to which foreign assistance contributes to the establishment of dependence, perpetuates corruption, or stimulates sustainable development endeavours inside the political and economic structures of Cameroon. 

Furthermore, it is worth noting that there is a scarcity of comprehensive research that thoroughly examines the efficacy of foreign assistance allocation procedures, distribution channels, and the degree to which aid fits with the developmental aims and ambitions of the government and inhabitants of Cameroon (Page & Shimeles, 2015). In order to develop well-informed policies and strategies, it is crucial to gain insight into the perspectives and encounters of significant stakeholders, such as government officials, civil society organisations, donor agencies, and ordinary citizens, regarding the influence and efficacy of foreign aid on Cameroon's political economy (Page & Shimeles, 2015).  The resolution of these deficiencies necessitates the implementation of meticulous empirical investigations that use a comprehensive methodology, including perspectives from the fields of economics, political science, development studies, and sociology (Page & Söderbom, 2015). Through a comprehensive analysis of the intricate dynamics pertaining to the correlation between foreign assistance and Cameroon's political economy, the primary objective of this research is to provide nuanced perspectives that may contribute to the formation of policies, methods for allocating aid, and the promotion of sustained socio-economic progress within the nation.

1.3 Objective of the study

Generally, the study assess foreign aid and its impact on Cameroon's political economy. The specific objectives is as follows

To assess the effectiveness of foreign aid in promoting socio-economic development in Cameroon

To examine the role of foreign aid in shaping  governance structures in Cameroon

To propose strategies for optimizing the utilization of foreign aid for sustainable development in Cameroon

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is the effectiveness of foreign aid in promoting socio-economic development in Cameroon?

What is the role of foreign aid in shaping  governance structures in Cameroon?

What are the propose strategies for optimizing the utilization of foreign aid for sustainable development in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Policy Implications: Understanding the effects of foreign aid on Cameroon's political economy can inform policymakers in crafting more effective aid policies. By identifying the positive and negative impacts, policymakers can make informed decisions to optimize aid utilization for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

Academic Contribution: The study adds to the existing body of literature on foreign aid and political economy by providing empirical evidence specific to the Cameroonian context. It contributes to theoretical frameworks and methodologies for analyzing aid impacts, thereby enriching academic discourse and facilitating further research in this field.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on foreign aid and its impact on Cameroon's political economy. Empirically, the study will  assess the effectiveness of foreign aid in promoting socio-economic development in Cameroon, examine the role of foreign aid in shaping  governance structures in Cameroon and propose strategies for optimizing the utilization of foreign aid for sustainable development in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation 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

Foreign Aid: Foreign aid, also known as international aid or development assistance, comprises financial, technical, or material assistance provided by one country to another, typically by governments, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It can be in the form of grants, loans, technical expertise, infrastructure development, or humanitarian aid.

Political Economy: The interconnected system that encompasses the political, social, and economic structures, processes, and institutions within Cameroon. This includes government policies, regulatory frameworks, market dynamics, resource allocation, distribution of wealth, and power relations among various societal actors.


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