Current Institutional Affiliation
Research Assistant, Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Pretoria

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Pretoria
Decentralisation and Community Participation: An Ethnography of Local Development and Municipal Politics in Cameroon.

My proposal seeks to examine how decentralization has played out in Cameroon since its effective implementation in 2004, following constitutional changes in 1996; amid economic crisis and structural adjustments. At the time, it was generally believed that change on the economic as well as political fronts was imperative. However, what obtained in Cameroon was half-baked economic reforms, and the politicization of democratic reforms. Regarding decentralization, I contend that, privy to events in Africa, and other parts of the world, whereby dictatorial regimes were being toppled by the masses, the ruling elites in Cameroon most of whom had by the 1990s been shuttling within the state apparatus for over three decades, successfully thwarted popular demands for constitutional reforms, by transforming them into a façade of meaningless cosmetic changes that projected decentralization as a genuine opportunity for local autonomy, and municipal councils presented as credible forums for community participation in local development.