Sceptics who had begun rubbishing some of the recommendations of the September 30-October 4, 2019 Major National Dialogue as belonging to the cupboards or even dustbins would have to review their stance. In his characteristic manner, the Head of State, guarantor of the Constitution, has once again assured his compatriots that dialogue remains the only way out of any misunderstanding and that nothing will be left to chance to walk the dialogue.
In effect, the March 23, 2020 Presidential decree creating a Follow-up Committee for the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Major National Dialogue is reassuring enough of brighter prospects for materialising the wide-ranging recommendations. The calibre of its members and the missions assigned the Committee are telling of serious business in the air which could yield better tidings in terms of normalising life in the restive regions and harmonising living together across the national triangle. With the Prime Minister, Head of Government as the Chairman; he who championed the Major National Dialogue and coordinates government action, rekindles hope that the Committee could be unlike others.
Also, the presence of heads of major structures like the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, religious and civil society organisations as well as Cameroonians resident abroad, are suggestive that none of the recommendations could be forgotten. Members of the clergy know the aspirations of a cross-section of the population, the rest of which can be channelled by civil society organisations. The Committee is therefore an ideal avenue to evaluate the path covered in applying the recommendations of the dialogue and how well those still pending could be accelerated. More so as the Technical Unit of the Committee comprises representatives of government institutions related with the recommendations as well as one member each from the eight committees that brainstormed before arriving at the proposals. The Committee in itself reminds Cameroonians that the conclave might have come and gone but that the doors for dialogue still remain widely open.
In all patriotism, the men and women called into the Committee and those who could be co-opted by the Chairman based on their competences will have to ensure that the recommendations arrived at, in the best interest of the country and her citizens, are satisfactorily implemented. From the time of the dialogue held till now, the context might have evolved for some of the recommendations. Adapting them to the present context to ensure a sustainable implementation shouldn’t be an option. Citizens who have developed fresh ideas over the time could also channel their proposals to the Committee to give the implementation of the recommendations a participatory touch. This is nation-building!
The Head of State told his compatriots just before the end of the dialogue that all the recommendations will be, “considered attentively and diligently with a view to implementing them, taking into account their relevance and feasibility, as well as the capacities of our country.” Quite a number of steps have been taken to materialise the outcome of the Major National Dialogue. The Law on General Code of Regional and Local Authorities which overhauls the decentralisation process and grants a Special Status to the North West and South West Regions and the Law on Official Languages promulgated by the Head of State on December, 24, 2019 are some of the palpable fruits of the Major National Dialogue. How well the remaining recommendations are moved from paper to reality now largely depends on the work of the newly-created Committee. All hands are thus needed on board to polish up the points arrived at during the weeklong Yaounde conclave and fast-track their fruition.