Growth recovery on the heels of the devaluation of the CFA franc in 1994 was not strong enough to ensure sustainability and it is still to find its strength to achieve MDGs. Cameroon’s economy presents some weaknesses due to the presence of many reference frameworks underpinning its economic action. There is no common and coherent vision in such frameworks. Yet, such a vision should have well defined stakes, a shared algorithm and an overall strategy. As a result, there are significant dysfunctions, followed by poor rationalisation in the selection of programmes, imbalances in regional development, highly reduced public investment impact as well as low ownership of tools for evaluation, coordination and reorientation of foreign financial package[/text]
In order to consolidate the economic revival process launched ten years ago and sustain it, Cameroon is compelled to reconsider its development process notably by mainstreaming it into a broader and overarching policy framework. Hence the need to formulate a forward-looking vision which is a prerequisite for the country’s long-term development strategy. The forward-looking development vision provides for an organised future over a given period. But this does not mean the future is being anticipated as it is difficult to predict. In formulating the vision, achievements and potentials are taken into consideration, and they are combined with challenges and aspirations with the view of shaping the desired future; leaving no room for a mere projection of trends. The whole process is about building or picturing the best possible future by setting development goals likely to meet the expectations of the population and the challenges of leaders.
Concerning Cameroon, the long-term development vision is what Cameroonians and their leaders expect for themselves and for generations to come after a period of 25-30 years. The focus has been on how to meet the deep aspirations of Cameroonians and their leaders using a strategic, logical and coherent framework. A consensus has also been reached for a minimum of shared values and common goals. The 25-30 year period corresponds to the time when Cameroon’s population will double. Besides demographic considerations, other factors have been taken into account to determine the period. For instance, there was much concern about having an appropriate period to mainstream structural adjustment. It is also the time needed to move from one generation to another.
The formulated vision goes beyond a simple technical action to reflect the firm resolve of Cameroonian leaders. The vision is a bet on the future, a future for which objectives were set and strategies adopted accordingly. Forging a better future for Cameroonians will depend on their ability to assert their identity and condition, instead of just waiting passively. The process was launched by the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT), project initiator. A dual approach was adopted which included normative considerations based on ambitions nursed by the leaders, international commitments and synoptic development of countries with economic patterns similar to Cameroon’s, and an exploratory approach based on structural studies of the system, people’s and development actors expectations. The vision has been developed through an all-inclusive stakeholder consultative process. It was based on existing institutional organs. Validation and adoption were made progressively starting from a restrictive technical staff to enlarged ownership.