Support for municipal development and self-determination in Cameroon
Title: Support for municipal development in Cameroon
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministère de la Décentralisation et du Développement Local (MINDDEVEL), Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development (MINDDEVEL)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020
Cameroon set up the Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development (Ministère de la Décentralisation et du Développement Local (MINDDEVEL)) in March 2018. By doing so, the Government of Cameroon is supporting the decentralisation and self-determined local development that has been anchored in its constitution since 1996.
With the support of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Decentralization has already realised a fundamental reform of financial equalisation: in December 2019, a new law was adopted regarding the General Code for the decentralised local authorities. Among other things, this stipulates a complete financial transfer for the responsibilities assigned in key areas such as health care and education by 2023. The law also requires increased participation of citizens and community-based organisations in municipal development and decision-making processes.
However, municipalities still have only limited possibilities for ensuring basic services for the population and designing local development to be inclusive and permanent. Host communities of internally displaced persons are increasingly overwhelmed by their tasks. To date, there are no fixed procedures and instruments for conflict-sensitive citizen participation. Mechanisms that would enable municipalities and authorities to coordinate on local planning are also lacking. Furthermore, the administration of municipal finances is not very efficient. The municipalities are therefore not in an adequate position to plan and implement needs-based, participatory public services and infrastructures.
Cameroon’s municipalities fulfil their tasks for sustainable local development more effectively.
In cooperation with MINDDEVEL, this project is working on developing the capacities of local municipal administrations, strengthening consultation mechanisms and disseminating lessons learned through national networks.
The project is active in the north and south-western regions and includes four areas of action:
- Improving conditions for efficient administration of municipal finances and achieving transparency in municipal budgets;
- Improving cooperation between municipalities and national, regional and local institutions in charge of implementing decentralisation;
- Maintaining, controlling and managing public infrastructures with the aid of improved budgeting and user participation;
- Improving the capacity of municipal telecommunication centres to provide demand-driven digital services.
The project is promoting capacity building for experts and managers in municipal administrations and authorities, who will then be able to apply their expertise in financial and infrastructure management as well as in local and inter-municipal cooperation. Together with the national centre for administrative training, the project is also developing training modules to reinforce the learning processes.
In addition, the project is integrating process advice, cooperation mechanisms and participation formats into local development. These measures will improve the participation of women, young people and internally displaced persons in particular. Alongside this, advice is being provided to civil-society organisations to actively call for participation and to network. The project is improving municipal services through digital solutions in the area of information and communications technology.
There is close coordination with other GIZ projects, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the European Union, which are active in the same areas. This coordination takes place particularly in municipal infrastructure development, rural development and the conservation of forests and the environment.