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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POLITICAL STABILITY IN CAMEROON

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICIES AND THEIR IMPACT ON POLITICAL STABILITY IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Economic growth or development is a significant concern for underdeveloped nations. However, economic progress in such nations, except a few rare cases, has not been especially effective. There is a commonly established connection between political and economic progress. Economic growth relies on political and legal order, and in turn, economic progress may help stabilise a political system. Yet, economic prosperity or advancement alone is insufficient to ensure the continuation of a government (Agwanda, Nyadera & Asal, 2020). Economic growth has been analysed in several aspects, such as its correlation with democracy and political instability. Agwenjang (2020) studied how different types of government systems affect economic development. There is no evidence that democracy or the kind of government has an impact on economic development. However, they discover that regimes are not able to account for the significant variations in economic development, but politics in general does have an impact. They suggest that the distinction between democracy and authoritarianism may not be the determining factor, but rather some other unknown factor. Cameroon, located in Central Africa, has faced an intricate relationship between economic growth strategies and political stability since its independence from colonial authority. Cameroon, like other post-colonial countries, has had difficulties in establishing a stable political structure while striving for economic progress and development. Comprehending the connection between economic policies and political stability is essential for policymakers, researchers, and people, especially in a nation with varied socio-economic dynamics such as Cameroon (Bamba, 2020). Cameroon has enacted several economic development strategies throughout the years to promote growth, alleviate poverty, and modernise its economy. The policies have varied from government-driven development initiatives to market-focused reforms, mirroring changes in worldwide economic patterns and national goals. Key policy topics are agriculture, industry, infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and encouragement of foreign investment (Bali & Yang-Wallentin, 2020). Cameroon's political stability has been defined by a combination of continuity and change, including authoritarian regimes, shifts to democracy, and social and political conflicts. The nation has had peaceful transfers of authority as well as episodes of political unrest, such as separatist movements in Anglophone areas and socio-economic demonstrations in cities. Political stability is influenced by factors such as governance quality, institutional effectiveness, socio-economic circumstances, ethnic politics, and foreign forces. The connection between economic development plans and political stability in Cameroon is complex and constantly changing (Chung, 2020). Economic policies affect income distribution, job possibilities, social welfare, and public services in society. Positive economic results, including creating jobs and reducing poverty, may enhance political stability by promoting social unity and public contentment. Economic mismanagement, corruption, and unequal development may weaken government legitimacy and lead to instability. There is a lack of empirical study explicitly concentrating on the connection between economic policies and political stability in Cameroon (Conklin, 2021). Current research often provides theoretical frameworks or comparative evaluations, although fails to conduct thorough investigations of the distinctive situation in Cameroon. It is crucial to address this gap to provide information for evidence-based decisions, encourage equitable development, and support lasting political stability in the nation (Dissake, 2021). 

Studying the effects of economic development strategies on political stability in Cameroon requires a detailed comprehension of historical, socio-economic, and political factors. This research aims to enhance current academic knowledge by offering empirical observations on the intricate relationship among economic changes, governance systems, and social unity in Cameroon's growth path. These findings are essential for progressing scholarly discussions and implementing effective policy initiatives to promote prosperity and stability in the country.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Cameroon is now at a crucial point when economic growth plans and political stability are key factors in determining its future direction. Amid many socio-political obstacles such ethnic conflicts and governance concerns, it is crucial to comprehend the complex relationship between economic policies and political stability for long-lasting development (Frank, 2018). There is a notable lack of thorough study that examines the intricate relationship between economic growth programmes and political stability in Cameroon. Cameroon, similar to several other emerging countries, encounters the task of creating and executing efficient economic growth strategies. The impact of economic growth programmes on political stability has not been thoroughly investigated despite their implementation. There is a need for a thorough grasp of the intricate connections between economic policies and political stability to improve decision-making by policymakers and stakeholders (Gopinath, 2021). Economic development measures may greatly impact political stability in Cameroon. Income disparity, unemployment rates, access to basic services, and geographical differences are factors that may either support or weaken political stability. The economic policies' influence on citizen pleasure, social cohesion, and political engagement requires thorough examination, whether direct or indirect. Political stability is essential for creating a favourable climate for economic growth and development (Iyekekpolo, 2020). Political stability fosters investment, facilitates good governance, and boosts public confidence in institutions. Nevertheless, ongoing political tensions, wars, and governance issues may hinder economic advancement and worsen socio-economic inequalities. Comprehending the relationship between economic development strategies and political dynamics is crucial for creating specific interventions that may either strengthen or weaken stability. Given the problems outlined, there is an urgent need for policy design based on data that considers the complex relationship between economic development strategies and political stability. Policymakers may support sustainable development and political resilience in Cameroon by analysing current policies, socio-economic indicators, and political dynamics to identify gaps, use strengths, and adopt specific interventions. The relationship between economic development strategies and political stability in Cameroon is a complex and not well studied study topic. It is crucial to fill this vacuum by doing thorough empirical study and using theoretical frameworks to guide policy choices, promote equitable development, and reduce the danger of socio-political instability. Hence, the need to investigate economic development policies and their impact on political stability in Cameroon. 

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate economic development policies and their impact on political stability in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

Assess the level of political stability in Cameroon as a result of the economic development policies 

Analyze the economic development policies implemented in Cameroon 

Identify the key factors influencing political stability in Cameroon

Investigate the relationship between economic development policies and political stability in Cameroon.

1.4 Research questions

The following research questions have been prepared to guide the study

What is the level of political stability in Cameroon as a result of the economic development policies?

What are the economic development policies implemented in Cameroon?

What are the key factors influencing political stability in Cameroon?

What is the relationship between economic development policies and political stability in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Policymakers: Understanding how economic development policies influence political stability can provide valuable insights for policymakers in Cameroon. By identifying which policies contribute positively or negatively to stability, policymakers can make more informed decisions when designing and implementing economic strategies. This can help in fostering a more stable political environment conducive to sustainable development.

Academic Discourse: This research contributes to the academic understanding of the complex relationship between economic development and political stability. By generating empirical evidence and theoretical insights, it enriches existing literature in fields such as political science, economics, and development studies, thereby advancing knowledge and informing future research in this area.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on economic development policies and their impact on political stability in Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will assess the level of political stability in Cameroon as a result of the economic development policies, analyze the economic development policies implemented in Cameroon , identify the key factors influencing political stability in Cameroon and investigate the relationship between economic development policies and political stability 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

Economic Development : programs, policies or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community

Political Stability: a situation characterized by the preservation of an intact and smoothly functioning government or political system, avoiding significant disruptions or changes over an extended duration.


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