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ASSESSMENT ON THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE IN CAMEROON; CASE STUDY OF DIMAKO MUNICIPAL

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ASSESSMENT ON THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE IN CAMEROON; CASE STUDY OF DIMAKO MUNICIPAL

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Local development via local institutions was intended to improve understanding of rural communities and be more responsive to their perceived objectives and limits (Baaziz, 2019). Local Governments were deemed more successful in encouraging local involvement, empowerment, democracy, and cost-effectiveness under the One-Party System. I see the devolution of authority to Local Governments (LGs) as a kind of bottom-up development paradigm used by the government of Cameroon. When evaluating the role of local governments in leading rural development, the concept of 'Senian' freedom is used to demonstrate the significance of freedom and empowerment in socio-economic progress (Balland, 2020). Sen delves into the correlation between freedom and development in his book 'Development as Freedom', highlighting how freedom is essential to development and acts as a catalyst for other elements like stability and security. 

Cameroon, a diversified and lively country situated in Central Africa, has seen substantial socio-economic changes throughout time. The nation encounters many problems and possibilities in its quest for growth and advancement because to its varied cultures, languages, and physical settings (Bam, and De Bruyne, 2018). Local governments are crucial participants in guiding the growth trajectory and influencing the socio-economic environment of their areas. 

The importance of local government in promoting socio-economic transformation is quite significant. Local governments are responsible for executing national policies and programmes at the grassroots level. They are responsible for meeting the distinct requirements and preferences of their communities, which might include tasks such as infrastructure development and social welfare projects. Local governments have a crucial role in stimulating economic development by fostering a conducive environment for enterprises, encouraging entrepreneurship, and supporting employment creation (Bandara, 2018). 

In Cameroon, it is important to comprehend the impact of local government on socio-economic transformation. The country's decentralised government structure, implemented in the early 2000s, grants substantial powers and duties to local councils. The impact of these local entities in driving significant socio-economic change differs throughout regions and municipalities. Resource limits, capacity limitations, and political dynamics impact the ability of local governments to implement good changes within their areas. 

Cameroon has several socio-economic issues such as poverty, unemployment, insufficient infrastructure, and inequities in access to vital services. To tackle these difficulties, one needs a detailed understanding of the responsibilities, duties, and effectiveness of local government bodies. By evaluating the contributions, capabilities, and constraints of local governance systems, policymakers, stakeholders, and development practitioners may determine methods to improve their efficiency and advance equitable socio-economic development. Against this backdrop, this study seeks to examine the role of local government in socio-economic change in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Local governments have been crucial in spearheading socio-economic transformation in their communities in recent years. The role of the local government in promoting socio-economic development in Dimako Municipal, Cameroon, is unclear according to El-Haddad (2020). Local administrations are required under the constitution to lead community development activities in Dimako, however there is a lack of clarity on the actual effects of these efforts on the socio-economic environment. Hence, the need to assess the role of local government in socio-economic change in Cameroon; case study of Dimako municipal.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to assess the role of local government in socio-economic change in Cameroon; case study of Dimako municipal. The specific objectives is as follows

To explore the contributions of local government in facilitating socio-economic change in Cameroon.

To assess the effectiveness of local government interventions in addressing socio-economic challenges within different regions of Cameroon.

To identify potential strategies necessary for enhancing the capacity and responsiveness of local government institutions to drive sustainable socio-economic development in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What is the effectiveness of local government interventions in addressing socio-economic challenges within different regions of Cameroon?

What are the contributions of local government in facilitating socio-economic change?

What are the strategies necessary for enhancing the capacity and responsiveness of local government institutions to drive sustainable socio-economic development in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following;

Policymakers: Understanding the role of local government in socio-economic change is crucial for policymakers at both local and national levels. Findings from this study can inform policy decisions aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of local governance structures in fostering socio-economic development in Cameroon, potentially leading to more targeted and impactful interventions.

Contribution to Academic Knowledge: This study will contribute to the academic understanding of the dynamics between local government and socio-economic change, particularly within the context of Cameroon. By focusing on Dimako Municipal as a case study, it provides a localized lens through which broader theoretical frameworks can be tested and refined.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focus on assessing the role of local government in socio-economic change in Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will examine  the impact of local government  on the socio-economic development of Cameroon, and identify potential strategies for enhancing the capacity and responsiveness of local government institutions to drive sustainable socio-economic development in Cameroon. Geographically, this study will be carried out in Dimako municipal, 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

Local government:  the administration of a particular county or district, with representatives elected by those who live there.

Socio-economic change: The transformations that occur in the social and economic structures within a society over a period of time.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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