NW/SW Armed Conflict: Reconstruction Steering Committee Reports Progress, Announce 2023 Operational Strategy

By Ngewie Azeh 

The Steering Committee for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions has reported significant progress in the implementation of the Presidential Plan. During the 5th Ordinary session of the plan in Yaoundé on Thursday 13 April 2023, the steering committee presented a report from an evaluation mission to the two regions indicating that implementation was on the right direction. 
Chairperson Balungeli Ebune Confiance speaking during the Steering Committee meeting 

The major fallout of the Steering Committee meeting was however not the distance covered but the new direction the President Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the conflict hit  North West and South West regions plans to take. 

According to the chairperson Balungeli Ebune Confiance who is also the Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister's Office, defining a more people and result oriented direction was cardinal at this point in time. He has named this new approach as the 2023 operational strategy of the plan which has been largely approved by members. 
The members of government, representatives of international organisations, leaders of development organisations in the North West and South West regions and religious leaders who were present at the Steering Committee meeting visibly seemed to have given their support for the new direction of the plan as the National Coordinator, Matuba Obase received encouragement from the Chairman on the work done so far. 

Enter the New Operational Strategy and what next
The new operational strategy according to the Steering Committee chair will focus on six principles: vulnerability-based, participatory bottom-top, Youth and Gender centered, local solutions to local problems, proof of concept demand driven and local community resilience. 

To execute this operational strategy, Loal capacity strengthening exercises will  be carried out in communities to make sure that young people have a comparative advantage in projects execution and realization.
In the process, the new operational strategy to accompany youths in raising income through organised saving schemes. To make sure that new solutions are devised to community problems, the new strategy has put accent on the bottom-top approach to make  good the to encourage adhesion, appropriation and synergy from the base in rebuilding communities.

The plan also has space for consultations with Ministries, Regional Assemblies, localized Ministry Institutions, stakeholders, development Authorities, Projects, Development and Cultural Associations, as well as Alumni Associations on projects. The goal is to ensure projects produce expected impact positively in the life of the population.

Meanwhile, ministers and regional follow up communities will be empowered to meet more often and make contributions to the whole process. Work  will advance  in communities  depending on the level of peace. In green zones, the reconstruction plan in this new strategy has programmed to invest 70 percent of its energy there. Yellow zones will  get a 20 percent attention and red zones will see  a 10 percent gain in the plan’s activities.
 The new approach also makes provision for the rehabilitation of social infrastructures such as communities football fields, valley ball courts and other village social gathering infrastructures.

The Minister, Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office, Balungeli Ebune Confiance used the meeting to appeal to patners who had announced that they would support the rebuilding process to do so.

In the spirit of friendship and international diplomacy,  Balungeli  Ebune Confiance said, it is good for such partners to pay the money as a proof of their attachment to  Cameroon as partners of development.
“Our friendly countries and partners will sooner or later redeem their pledges. After all, it is believed that a friend in need is a friend indeed." He said 
For organisations, association and countries that  have offered support to the project, Balungeli  Ebune  Confiance has expressed gratitude. 

He singled out; Cameroon Employers’ Association, GICAM, Professional Association of Financial Institutions of Cameroon, APPECAM, Association of Mining Companies in Cameroon, SABC and the government of Japan. The United Nations Development Program, UNDP, that is the main partner in the implementation of the project. 
The National Coordinator, PPPRD-NW/SW Motuba Obase said with the new strategy, everyone has a place to make things happen. He added that through a social responsibility concept put in place, there is room for all and sundry to contribute to the plan.
 At least 1.5 million FCFA, he disclosed was raised last December through the scheme by providing food to those who are undergoing reformation at the DDR Centres.

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