Prof. Molua Ernest reacts to President Biya’s New Year message

“The end-of-year speech weaved through the key pillars of Communal Liberalism”

The President’s speech on 31 December 2022 was firmly anchored on his political philosophy of “communal liberalism.”

Recall that when President Biya ascended to power he emphasized not only rigour and moralization. However, underneath this is his philosophy of “communal liberalism”, anchored by five key pillars: National Unity, Democracy, Social Welfare, Economy & External Relations.

The end-of-year speech weaved through the key pillars of Communal Liberalism. The Economic aspect of the speech stood out clearly. From inflation or the persistent rise in prices to economic growth, national Infrastructure as well as Energy and Power were identified by the President to be key drivers of the economy and societal welfare in 2023.

Professor Ernest L. Molua
University of Douala, Cameroon

Ensuring that the economy remains “at the service of man or local consumers and producers” inflation and economic strain exogenously driven has to be addressed through import substitution by relying on and promoting domestic production of local commodities.

This has the double advantage of spurring the national economy, creating employment, and supplying raw materials for the local industries.

The Head of State’s near-term vision is very clear, and that’s the path his collaborators must follow by making government policy and directing public expenditures.

The President prioritized Energy supply and the challenges associated with subsidising gas, petroleum and electricity supply. Power and Energy are at the heart of the country’s industrialization and economic performance. The giant projects in Lompangar and Nachtingal will without doubt furnish adequate energy supply to feed the needs of Medium and Large Scale Enterprises.

At the heart of the President’s discourse he reiterated the urgency  to exploit Cameroon’s minerals to make gains and revenue from the global markets. This is sensible and will also create jobs and feed the local industry with much needed raw materials. Cameroon seemed to have recovered from colonial-driven trade direction, and the time has come to tap into its natural resources for effective revenue mobilization and wealth creation.

In summary, the Head of State’s Speech was economic oriented and strategically refocused Cameroon’s efforts towards economic evolution which takes advantage of its natural resource base and indigenous potentials. The speech was essentially on the tenets of Communal Liberalism required to facilitate rural and national economic development mindful of the welfare of the Cameroon population.

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