Experts Examine Cameroon’s Eligibility in The Open Government Partnership Initiative
Actions for Development and Empowerment (ADE), has organised a stakeholders session to reflect on Cameroon’s readiness towards the Open Government Partnership in Initiative. Organised in collaboration with its partners.
Follow The Money International, Connected Development, budgIT, and Global Integrity, the Open
Governance Partnership (OGP) stakeholder meeting took on Wednesday 08 June 2022 at the
Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation and had as main goal to engage stakeholders
to strongly participate in Cameroon’s eligibility process in becoming a member of the OGP, strengthen the knowledge of young people on budget monitoring and tracking in their communities through constant dialogue and to promote and improve the efficient and effective implementation of budgetary allocations and projects targeted at different communities, by creating awareness on these programs/projects, while identifying gaps in their implementation thereby plugging leakages and curbing mismanagement. It also sought to build a critical mass of socially conscious citizens and to advance advocacy for Cameroon’s membership to the OGP.
Open the session in Yaoundé, the CEO of ADE Nancy Saiboh emphasised that reflections would to be centered on the current state and challenges faced by the four working commissions created sometime in 2018/2019 when OGP talks started in Cameroon, so as to come up with better synergistic strategies to boost Cameroon’s adherence to the OGP.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an initiative launched in 2011 by eight founding members (United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa and the United Kingdom) which today brings together nearly 75 governments and hundreds of civil society organisations. OGP member states commit to respecting a number of principles in order to achieve the objectives of the Open Government Partnership, namely: promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption and using new technologies to strengthen and improve governance. Membership of this partnership is conditioned by the compliance of the States with a certain number of criteria which are the ferment of this desire to move forward together, namely: the effectiveness of budgetary and fiscal transparency (making available to the public fundamental documents relating to the public expenditure), access to information, disclosure of income and assets of elected officials and public officials, and citizen participation.
France, which joined this partnership in April 2014, has set up a set of measures aimed at encouraging the member countries of La Francophonie to join this initiative. Among these measures is the Support Project for Francophone Open Governments (PAGOF), the main purpose of which is to support countries in fulfilling their commitments to open up public data and to support their process of joining the OGP by training, support, etc specific techniques, networking and sharing of experiences. Cameroon, a member country of La Francophonie, committed to its efforts to achieve emergence by 2035, participated in the regional seminar organised by France within the framework of PAGOF in November 2018. The day after this seminar, the National Governance Program (NGP) and the Association for Integrated Development and Interactive Solidarity (ADISI)-Cameroon decide to follow this process of Cameroon’s entry to the OGP, by mobilising on February 14, 2019 local elected representatives, parliamentarians, administration, civil society and international (development partners) stakeholders in order to lay the foundations to strengthen Cameroon’s eligibility.
Participants during the session laid emphasis on the need to study the Cameroonian context properly before proceeding into the operational stage of advocacy and mobilisation, a need for a structured law to assist the Civil Society and stakeholders in the struggle to attain the OGP as well as a law that encourages citizen participation at various levels that can boost citizen participation. The experts also stressed on the crucial role of the press in the process, involvement of women and youths, civil society strengthening, improved communication and building synergy.