Exploring the politics of identity and ethnicity in state reconstruction in Cameroon

Overall rating


The Cameroon nation thrives on a dicey patchwork of national unity and integration that have become nebulous concepts. Though traceable to the Ahidjo era and adopted by the Biya regime, ethnic jingoism became rife with the re-introduction of multiparty politics in the 1990s. Evidently, the political and economic equation is marked by divide et impera policies leading to the proliferation and fragmentation of stark ethno-regional cleavages. This article recasts the debates on ethnic hegemony with the political elite occupying centre stage of the discourses and ideologies on regionalism, orchestrated by the phenomenal search for political inclusion. In the process, the state machinery is rendered fluid with ethnocentrism, ethno linguistic regionalism; separatism and the bifurcation of regional groupings and minorities as the order of the day. It is argued that the state reconstruction roadmap hinges, inter alia, on devolving greater administrative power to provinces or regions, protecting minority rights; enhancing citizen participation; promoting meritocracy, lessening bureaucratization and fighting endemic corruption; fostering the greater participation of civil society in nation building and the democratization process, prima facie for toning down the negative fall-outs of the politics of ethnic divisionism, that has engrossed the polity…

Read more…

Development Policy Research Network is a platform for dissemination of topical information on development issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »