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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
by foy franklin, Cameroon Sep 13, 2006
Human Rights   Opinions


If men be good, government cannot be bad.
-WILLIAM PENN (1644-1718) Fruits of Solitude

The marvel of history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their government. The commonwealth’s goal of promoting Good Governance, have been a major challenge especially in Africa.(dictatorship and megalomania)
Good Governance is the exercise of political power to manage a nation’s affairs. Good governance guides the country along a course leading to the desired goal, which is development. In this case, equity, social justice and the effective execution of basic human right come into play. The World Bank defines good governance in technical terms i.e. ‘a public service that is efficient, a judicial system that is reliable and an administration that is accountable to the public’; western donors have increasingly given the term political dimension or conditionality.
The French President Francois Mitterand was the first western leader to enunciate the political conditionality of aid to democracy at La Baule on 21 June 1990 when he told his mainly African audience that ‘…. traditional aid will be more lukewarm towards regimes which behave in an authoritarian manner without accepting the evolution towards democracy.’
British foreign secretary, Douglas Hurd intimated that his country’s assistance would favour countries ‘tending towards pluralism, public accountability, respect for the rule of law, human rights and market principles’. For the Canadian Prime Minister, ‘Canada will not subsidize repression and shifting of democracy’. Madam Lynda Chalker – British Minister for overseas Development, quoted in the Sunday Times of September 18, 1991 defined Good Governance as;
- A public service that is efficient and neutral of party politics
- A judicial system that is manifestly independent and reliable.
- A political administration that is accountable to its public
- A concerted effort to rent corruption, nepotism and discrimination based on sex, ethnic origin, religion affiliation, and social or economic status.
- A vibrant press
- Free political participation, empowering of women and the poor, and a guarantee of peaceful change of personnel in ruling position.
Cameroon’s situation on good governance can be trace back 1998 where the government set up national committee on good governance. It has sectoral committees on public administration, decentralization, economic and social management, justice, and civil society in he management of public affairs. Their report was submitted to the Prime Minister on May 25 1999. Their report had far reaching consequences, which were unpalatable to government. The commission was asked to water down its report, which was finally submitted. The final report said that, there would be an end to government delegates; there would be an independent judiciary and the granting of regional autonomy…

The significances in the promotion of a good governance program in Cameroon will give a visible result of development in the following ways;
- Sets up an efficient, citizen-friendly public administration at the service of development
- Enhance growth and sustainable development
- Alleviates poverty
- Capacity-building of development actors (state, private sector, civil society, NGOs, media, local authorities)
- Promotes public sector/private sector/civil society partnership
- Reinforces the state of law and reforms the justice system
- Promotes a genuine culture of accountability in the management of public affairs
- Reinforces the transparency of the state machinery and strongly fighting against corruption.
- Improvement of resource allocation to social sector
- Helps in the consolidating of participatory economic and social management through a better structuring and capacity-building of the civil society
- The development of basic infrastructure; its strengthen the role of the private sector in the creation of wealth and jobs



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My own perspective of Good governance
Jerry | Nov 9th, 2006
Governance entails the ability of members of cabinet to positively govern her people and provide for their sustainability and development. Good governance can further be divided into certain areas to mean: the provision of basic and social infrastructures, maintenance of justice and equity, upholding fairness and freedom of expression, provision of basic right to self-positive-will, maintenance of law and order and provision of sustainable and well-diversified economy. Government belongs to a group of people and not a single person. In a situation whereby one man at the top, usually the President has the ambition to provide for the sustainability and developmetn of his people and majority of his cabinet members do not support that goal, such governance will surely be abortive. Good governance is definitely not a possiblity in all respects. It is hard before one can find a government that is well governed. Governance in Africa is a big problem, due to the rate of poverty. "If a man is hungry, he cannot be in the right frame of mind" Poverty has led many to be selfish and greedy and that is why many African leaders and leaders all over the wolrd vye for so much and never want to give the masses. In such an instance, good governance becomes a problem. If our leaders can have the right frame of mind, viewing all citizens as he views himself, then he would be able to treat them as his own body and provide for them having them in mind. Also, fairness and justice should also be paramount. In a case whereby the rights of people are unjustly trampled upon, then good governance can not be a truism. So, in my own context, though we strive to proffer suggestions for good governance, i will advice people, most especially our leaders to have the right frame of mind, view every other citizens as their own bodies. But right now, the world is being controlled by evil people and their deeds, in that case, provision of basic and social infrastructures should be provided by our leaders, justice and equity should be upheld, fairness and freedom of expression should be allowed and in no way abated, the rights of people should not be trampled upon as the right of a citizen constitutes the right of his being a Nationalist.

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