Cameroon – Paul Biya : Pain, Gain, Major Challenges in 40 years

As in harvest time, Journal du Cameroun takes a look in the rear view mirror and sweeps the good and…

paul biya

As in harvest time, Journal du Cameroun takes a look in the rear view mirror and sweeps the good and bad fruits of President Paul Biya’s 40 years in power in this editorial.


Executives, militants, sympathisers and friends of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) are preparing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the accession of His Excellency Paul Biya to the supreme magistracy on November 6. To this end, the Secretary General of the party’s Central Committee, Jean Nkuete, has placed the festivities under the theme, “Let us further strengthen our mobilisation behind President Paul Biya to pursue together the work of national construction in the union of hearts, peace and stability under the prism and in the spirit of National Renewal,” reads the circular of October 18, 2022, relating to the celebration of November 6, 2022.

In this document, the second personality of the party of the burning torch evokes the great sites of national construction, conducted over the past four decades. These include ‘the methodical and irreversible implementation of democracy and sustainable development; the phenomenal deployment of communication, educational, medical and energy infrastructures; the expansion of the industrial fabric (…)’.

This dossier highlights the opening up of the regime to democracy since 1982, with the reinstatement of the multi-party system in 1990. As for infrastructure projects, it is clear to all that road, hospital, sports and educational infrastructure projects have been implemented in the country since it came to power, through the seven-year period of great achievements to the current period of opportunities. In this register of flowers, we also find the diplomatic victories of Paul Biya during the 40 years.

Paul Biya
Paul Biya in 1982

However, behind this non-exhaustive glowing picture, there are hidden frasks and blunders that stimulate tears. This is the case with the persistence of security crises, inflation, governance, over-indebtedness, hunger and thirst, some of which are still beyond the control of the Renewal. In addition, there is the gloomy picture of Cameroonian culture, the poor relation of the last decades. These problems call on the regime to console the people.

As Jean Nkuete puts it, “the issues of the day and the challenges of the future are already on our doorstep. Whether it is the security of the nation chipped away in certain localities, living together threatened (…), the common desire for peace, unity, solidarity, social justice shaken by the demons of division, the economic trajectory to be refined, the pursuit and adaptation of economic growth to the demographic growth of the country (…)“. What has President Biya done with his 40 years in power?