Chadian President Idriss Deby, who visited Cameroon last week must
have returned satisfied with the outcome of discussions with his host
President Paul Biya.
This must have been so after Biya heeded
Derby's plea and accorded him overtures for electricity supply to
illuminate some reportedly dark areas of Chad. 'Let there be light in
Chad', President Biya must have told his Chadian counterpart when he
assured him of the possibility of his country tapping electricity from
the rich and mega Lagdo Hydroelectricity dam in the North, not very far
from Chad's capital, N'Djamena.
Eden gathered that the 48-hour visit was essentially to talk
bilateral issues between both countries and the reinforcement of
cooperation ties within the Central African Region. A statement from
the civil cabinet at the presidency said both leaders examined problems
of transport, especially on the Douala-Njamena terminal, integration
nightmare within the CEMAC zone and the pending crises rocking the Bank
of Central African states BEAC.
The perennial insecurity at the
borders of both countries perpetuated by gangs of terrorists known in
French as 'coupeur de route', did not escape their discussions,
especially with the most recent reported case of four Cameroonians
kidnapped by Chadian rebels.
Political observers, however, think
such economic overtures will instead milk Cameroon dry at a time when
the country itself was facing serious electricity power supply crises.
The privatisation of SONEL that has been taken over by a joint
Cameroon- USA venture, AES-SONEL, has not brought any significant
improvement to the energy crises in Cameroon.
persons and households attest to the fact that the services of the
private electricity company have been a bane to their activities. Even
the nation's capital sometimes goes for days without electricity
supply, not to talk of many parts of the hinterland that do not have
the opportunity to benefit from the electricity corporations'
The question of development and regional
integration in the CEMAC zone is likely to drag on as long as each
member country continues to play a political cat and mouse game.
According to the late Bernard Fonlon, the essential aim of all
integration is to heal a breach, put an end to a cleavage, to cure
through unification a division considered to be. That dream accordingly
is still too far fetched in the Central African Region.
The Chad- Cameroon Bond
the mutual understanding, mutual respect that both countries share with
one another, Chad is also Cameroon's northern neighbour, sharing a
boundary of over 500 kilometres. The two countries share common
concerns as ascertained by their adherence to major international and
regional groupings like the UN, the African Union, the Economic and
Monetary Community OF central African States CEMAC, the Economic
Community of Central
African States, ECCAS and the Bank of
Central African States among others. This automatically puts both
countries under the same economic development network, albeit with a
separate development vision and distinct political systems. Cameroon
being the giant of members of the Central African Region, has always
and continues to play a significant role in the economic and political
chessboard of the sub- region. Its political stability and apparent
peace equally epitomises a good example to emulate.
then, that the other presidents do not hesitate to come seeking for one
favour or another from President Paul Biya.