France/West: the Regional Council relies on the diaspora to roll out its 6,000 billion regional development plan

Published on 29/05/2023 | La rédaction


The two parties, who have signed a 4-year renewable partnership agreement, will focus on two key sectors: energy and vocational training.

6,000 billion Fcfa. This is the total budget for the development plan for the West Cameroon region. It is supported by the Regional Council in place since 2021, led by Dr Hilaire Foka Foka. To boost the region's socio-economic development, we're counting on the diaspora. On May 11, 2023, the Western Regional Council signed a partnership agreement with the Cameroonian diaspora, grouped within the High Council of Cameroonians Abroad (Hcce). The 4-year renewable partnership aims to organize and manage relations between the Western Regional Council and the Hcce.

"The two entities wish to create a normative framework to concretize their collaboration and thus affirm their willingness to join forces in order to mobilize the skills and means of the diaspora.and resources of the Cameroonian diaspora to support the development and emergence of the Western region, within the framework of a public-private partnership", reads the press release.

Based on this premise, the two entities will focus on two priority sectors - vocational training and energy - to implement this development plan. "The first priority for us is energy. If we want to develop our region, we need energy in sufficient quantity and quality, and so far that's still not the case (...).) training, we need to focus on vocational training in the West region," confided the President of the West Regional Council in an interview with Crtv on May 24, 2023.

To achieve this, a number of prerequisites are already in place. At the Western Regional Council, we're talking about making the validated and adopted development plan available to the diaspora, as well as setting up spaces for meetings and exchanges with the diaspora. With regard to the latter, Dr Hilaire Foka Foka has announced that a forum will be held in December with the diaspora and investors, to find out what they can contribute to the implementation of the development plan for the Western region.

With regard to overall financial management, we learn that of the 6,000 billion required, each party currently involved in the project will have to contribute a share. As far as the Western Regional Council's share is concerned, "we can't yet give an opinion on the well as the transfer of competences and resources, to have an idea of our share", confided the President of the Western Regional Council, contacted by telephone.

Several expectations are attached to this partnership: "we think that the diaspora already has a long head start on us, especially experience in managing decentralized territorial authorities because for the most part, they are in developed countries. The other expectation is financial, because this diaspora is capable of meeting some of our expectations and enabling us to carry out a good number of our projects", he confided to Crtv.

There are 5.2 million Cameroonian nationals living abroad. Taking into account those who are in an irregular situation and therefore not registered with embassies and consulates, and those with dual nationality, this figure could rise to almost 7 million. As for the High Council of Cameroonians Abroad, it is an official apolitical umbrella organization of the Cameroonian Diaspora and aims to be a federating structure for Diaspora organizations.


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