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EXAMINATION OF CORRUPTION AND GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES IN CAMEROON

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EXAMINATION OF CORRUPTION AND GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Corruption is an everyday occurrence in Cameroon. Every sector, including the army, customs, police, justice, national education, health services, public transport, public markets, the media, the electoral process, the civil service, and the private sector, is infected. This encompasses all public and para-public activities, as well as the relationship between the administration and individuals, and between individuals themselves (Monde, 2015). Regardless of its scale, corruption is progressively escalating to an intolerable extent. The ongoing battle against corruption in Cameroon, spanning over two decades, has immense significance given the high stakes involved. Regrettably, despite many domestic and global efforts to combat this widespread problem, actions and patterns of corruption persist and grow more prevalent. Consequently, this scenario gives rise to many enigmas and elicits the following inquiries: What are the reasons behind Cameroon's failure to significantly diminish the prevalence of corruption? What are the limitations that impede Cameroon's development towards the goal of improving public administration and ethical standards? The foreign partners' lack of resolve, particularly in enforcing conditions for good governance, their negative influence, and some corrupt connections have significantly contributed to the situation(Alfred , 2020). However, the culpability of Cameroonian players is even more significant.

The concerns of corruption and governance difficulties have always been closely connected within the socio-political environment of Cameroon, posing significant barriers to achieving sustainable development, social fairness, and democratic government. Cameroon, located in Central Africa, has a wealth of natural resources, a variety of civilizations, and a significant historical legacy. Nevertheless, chronic corruption and governance inadequacies have impeded its advancement on several fronts, despite its promise(Edward, 2016).

Cameroon, similar to many countries, faces the complex intricacies of corruption, which materialise in diverse manifestations including embezzlement, bribery, nepotism, and favouritism. These instances of corruption are widespread throughout several sectors of society, including government institutions, public services, corporate businesses, and civil society organisations. The repercussions are significant, leading to a state of economic stagnation, social inequality, and a decline in public confidence in political institutions (Anzanilufuno, 2020).

Furthermore, the governance situation in Cameroon is characterised by an intricate interaction of elements such as deficient institutional structures, insufficient transparency and accountability processes, political favouritism, and a deficiency of effective oversight measures. The presence of these governance inadequacies intensifies the harmful consequences of corruption, promoting a culture where wrongdoing goes unpunished and weakening the authority of legal principles.

To comprehend the connection between corruption and governance issues in Cameroon, a comprehensive examination is necessary, which explores historical, political, socio-economic, and cultural variables. Cameroon's governance systems and institutions have been influenced by its colonial past and post-independence political trajectory, which have historically determined the presence and dynamics of corruption. Moreover, the presence of several ethnic and linguistic groups in the nation, together with regional inequalities, add to intricate power dynamics that might worsen governance difficulties(Agyeman, 2016).

Moreover, corruption and governance deficiencies have repercussions that reach beyond the boundaries of a country, influencing the stability of regions, international relations, and global endeavours towards achieving sustainable development. The participation of Cameroon in regional organisations like the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union (AU) highlights the interdependence of governance problems across borders and the significance of tackling them within a wider regional framework (Kahiga, 2020).

As Cameroon tries to overcome these problems and achieve its developmental goals, tackling corruption and enhancing governance procedures appear as crucial priority. To effectively address corruption, it is crucial to implement a wide-ranging approach that includes legislative changes, strengthening institutional capabilities, promoting civic education, and implementing strong anti-corruption measures. Likewise, improving the efficiency of governance necessitates the advancement of openness, the cultivation of citizen participation, the empowerment of organisations, and the maintenance of democratic values and legal regulations(Munyai, 2020).

This research aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying causes, expressions, and consequences of corruption and governance concerns in Cameroon, considering the intricate nature of their confluence. The purpose of putting light on these processes is to provide information for policy interventions, empower civil society actors, and stimulate collective action in order to promote accountable, transparent, and inclusive government systems that prioritise integrity and benefit all citizens of Cameroon. Therefore, the researcher sought to examine corruption and governance challenges in Cameroon.

Statement of the problem

The presence of corruption and governance issues in Cameroon poses substantial obstacles to the country's socio-economic progress, political stability, and the welfare of its population. Notwithstanding attempts to tackle these problems, they consistently weaken the efficiency of public institutions and destroy public confidence in the government (Vargas and Schlutz,, 2016). Corruption is widespread in several areas of Cameroonian society, including government, business, and law enforcement. Corruption, illicit payments, and misappropriation of public money are widespread, impeding the effective distribution of resources and distorting market mechanisms. Gaining insight into the processes by which corruption functions is crucial for formulating efficient tactics to prevent it. Cameroon has challenges with ineffective governance systems marked by a deficiency in openness, accountability, and respect to the rule of law (Vargas and Schlutz,, 2016). The consolidation of authority within the executive branch, along with restricted mechanisms for oversight and accountability, creates a favourable setting for corruption and misuse of power. Examining the shortcomings in governance systems is crucial in order to implement changes that encourage good governance and cultivate public honesty.Hence, doing a comprehensive analysis of these issues is essential in order to understand their underlying origins, manifestations, and consequences for the nation's development. Hence, the need to examine corruption and governance challenges in Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to examine corruption and governance challenges in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

To Assess  level of corruption  in government parastatals of Cameroon.

To identify the underlying governance challenges and institutional weaknesses that facilitate corruption in Cameroon.

To assess the implications of corruption on effective governance and service delivery in Cameroon

To propose effective strategies for combating corruption and enhancing governance in Cameroon.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is the level of corruption  in government parastatals of Cameroon?

What are the underlying governance challenges and institutional weaknesses that facilitate corruption in Cameroon?

What is  the implications of corruption on effective governance and service delivery in Cameroon?

What are the effective strategies for combating corruption and enhancing governance in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the Cameroonian government as corruption undermines economic development by diverting resources away from productive sectors and into the hands of a few individuals or groups. Addressing corruption can lead to more efficient allocation of resources and foster economic growth, which is a key priority for the Cameroonian government.

The findings of the study will be beneficial to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the subject matter.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on corruption and governance challenges in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will assess  level of corruption  in government parastatals of Cameroon, identify the underlying governance challenges and institutional weaknesses that facilitate corruption in Cameroon, assess the implications of corruption on effective governance and service delivery in Cameroon and propose effective strategies for combating corruption and enhancing governance 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

Corruption:  dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

Governance: the action or manner of governing a state, organization, etc.


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