Friday, January 28, 2022

Cameroon: Mobile Phone and apps' tax Still Top on Government's agenda



In what is clearly  unprecedented in the recent history of Cameroon, government that since bowed to civil rights pressure by rescinding on the phone tax that authorities forcefully insisted must go operational last year, has again stealthily reintroduced the tax in the 2022 Finance bill.

When the tax was first introduced in the 2020 Finance Bill during the November 2019 session of Parliament, Cameroonians went viral with online protest. Fearing it could degenerate into nation-wide protests, a statement from Cameroon's Presidency, signed by the Secretary General and on behalf of  President Paul Biya, ordered that the introduction of the new tax and customs duties on mobile phones and tablets as well as social media apps, be halted, and new mechanism for collection of such be submitted to the President for consideration. 

The move came after Cameroonians championed by civil rights movements especially digital and consumer rights outfits, have taken to the social and traditional media mobilizing to boycott such customs duties and taxes even as government officials insisted these were not new taxes but rather a displacement of payment from the physical to the digital frontier. 

Fearing the move could trigger a further disruption of social cohesion and eventually lead to mass protests as never witnessed in Cameroon, the Presidency thought it wise to quickly withdraw the less than 48 hours old tax. 

This year again, and without adequately consulting stakeholders, the cash-trapped government of President Paul Biya, is not only reintroducing the taxes on mobile apps and phones, but also boldly going ahead to tax mobile money transactions, both for senders and receivers, going by the draft Finance Bill tabled in Parliament for debate during this November 2021 session.

Reactions opposing this fresh attempt  have not come in Short supply as MPs are being encouraged to be bold enough to send back the Bill for yet another reading.  Cameroon's civil rights movements who had seen in the imposition of taxes on digital technology end-users a clear attempt to stifle the vibrant online Civil Society are again urging law makers to stand with their constituents, not Government. It is now clear that last year, the Cameroon Civil Society won only the battle as the war rages on. 

More stakeholders' platforms and coalitions across sectors must now be quickly built and immediate negotiations engaged with government agencies and the mobile technology companies operating in Cameroon. 

Sophie Ngassa, one of the founding members of the Cameroon Digital Rights Coalition holds that 'the move to impose app and mobile phone taxes is not an event in isolation in the systematic efforts at shrinking civic space in Cameroon in recent months'. 

She is certainly not alone. Peter Shang, renowned Bamenda-based social critic is categoric that:  'Apart from the shrinking of civic space, government had given to understanding attempts at protests by political parties were attempts at undermining national security and public order and, that civil societies and  human rights NGOs were basically working to receive funding from abroad to provide information on the human rights situation of Cameroon to foreign and international organizations wanting to distabilize the country'.

The mobile phone Tax project in Cameroon seems not only to have been poorly conceived, but badly designed and wrongly rolled out. It might have been a good cause but aimed at the wrong target. Even law makers who originally voted the 2019 Finance Bill were taken aback with the extent of the implementation of the bill requiring that end-users pay custom duties and taxes on imported telephones and tablets. 

If this other attempt goes through, then beginning January 1,2022, the burden of paying custom duties and taxes on imported digital technology products like phones and tablets shall lie with the consumer. 

 The new phone tax entails that each time an end user introduces his/her Sim card into a new phone, the International Mobile Equipment Identity, IMEI, is recorded at Arintech, a new platform fronted by government, and a message is immediately sent to the user requesting he/she chooses one of the two options of either paying the custom duty or tax in lumpsum or paying in installments each time he/she buys airtime from any of the mobile phone operators. In addition to that, and also beginning January 1, 2022, each time users of digital tools download an application or send or receive mobile money, they are expected to pay Fcfa 200 tax. 

Lingering Concerns

Questions as concerns phones with multiple or dual Sim cards that connect simultaneously has not been answered either by Arintech or the government. Will users with such categories of phones and tablets not be taxed doubly? What would be a country's rationale to tax end users at industry price rather than the market price? And when available information from the Cameroon Customs Department already indicate that the phone and tablet taxes range from Fcfa 3000 to 300000, is it not clear that if a person purchased a phone or tablet for Fcfa 250000, he/she would end up paying a tax of Fcfa75000? If government claims this is not a new tax but that payment has just been transferred from the physical frontier to the digital frontier, why transfer it then, and why only for phones and tablets?  

Given that if the new system goes operational successfully, all personal data of end-users in mobile telephone operators' banks would be transferred to Arintech, what guarantees are there that Arintech would not misuse citizens personal data, especially in a country where no privacy and personal data protection laws exist? How did government arrive at selecting Arintech to host the new platform? Is it not ridiculous for government to claim that by shifting the payment of custom duties and phone taxes from the importers to the customer, phones would rather be cheaper for Cameroonians? Can a government that has for years been taxing people out of business suddenly become a Father Christmas? And what would become of poor people who because of their vulnerable economic situations default in payments? 

Short-term and Long-term Consequences of the Phone Tax

With the advent of new digital technologies and, of recent, the coronavirus pandemic, many services have gone online including digital financial services, e-commerce and e-learning. The new tax and new obligations for mobile phones operators to oblige users to pay or be denied their services would only go a long way to not only increase the digital divide but also, to push more people offline since owning a good smartphone is condition sine qua non to fully enjoy online services.

 Poor and vulnerable citizens' inability to pay such exorbitant taxes and custom duties would only increase the already existing barriers to getting online, thereby limiting citizens access to freedom of expression and access to information as well as access to goods and services that are now online. 

It is for this reason that the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association online has stated that: 'taxes like this propagate the misconception that internet access and social media use are luxuries'.

 The short and long term consequences of the introduced phone, social media and mobile money tax, pose a huge threat on internet access and affordability, and financial inclusion for low income and marginalized groups such as women, youths and rural communities, as clearly stated by Clement Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association online. 

While there may be an economic rationale for the tax, it disproportionately impedes the ability of individuals to have access to new digital technology. The tax in its current state raises concerns of necessity and proportionality, particularly for low income citizens for whom purchasing 1GB of data per month will cost nearly 40% of their average monthly income.

New tax targets freedom of association and peaceful assembly online
 
For those not versed with the manner in which authoritarian regimes veil their intentions, they may hail the claims advanced by government for introducing the phone and apps tax as coming to instead reduce costs of phones and bringing in much-needed revenue for the state. Realizing that even though it has successfully cowed every Cameroonian from ever demonstrating on the streets as it would amount to disturbance of public order and a threat to national security and a breach of COVID19 restriction rules; and citizens have found new territory on social media where they can assemble and associate peacefully with little intrusion, government now wants to begin muzzling this new civic space by tightening access to it through taxation. 

After Cameroonians experienced the longest interruptions to digital communications (Internet shutdowns) in a bid to control online assembly and the free flow of information in 2017, and realizing the negative publicity it would attract if it were to shutdown social media again, government would rather go softly by directly taxing its use. 

If one considers the phone in the situation of Cameroon as one of the key equipments for accessing social media, justification for introducing such a tax and at such a moment would only arouse suspicion given that the ICT market is still relatively small. The cost of such a tax on the nationals' right: political (the exercising of their freedom of expression), social (the Civil freedoms of association and opinion formation), and economic (to access electronic information at an affordable rate),therefore seem to outweigh all the potential benefits.

The introduction of the new tax mirrors the overall shrinking civic space and now virtually closed political space, and where government is getting more hostile to the political opposition as well as activists, critical media reporting and more importantly, to criticism by social media users. After confiscating physical civic and political spaces and, after realizing that a bulk of citizens are freely associating and assembling peacefully online, government of Cameroon is moving in to begin the shrinking up of online civic space through taxation. By transferring the custom duties and taxes from importers to end users can never make phones affordable as claimed by government. Affordability strategies must be in line with the Alliance for Affordable Internet's Policy recommendations.
 
The new tax on digital technology tools as is being introduced by the government of Cameroon contravenes the UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of peaceful assembly and of association online when he states that: 'States should promote and facilitate access to digital technologies and should not put restrictions on their use for the exercise of their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association'. 

In relation to the new tax, Clement Voule rather recommends that: 'Policies and practices should address equal access to the Internet and digital technologies, the affordability and participation in the digital age for all, so as to bridge the digital divide'. 

The new tax already endangers the new found digital civic space in Cameroon. Worthy of note is the fact that online association and assembly play a particularly important role for the marginalized groups and interference with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association can have a disproportionate impact on individuals and groups in vulnerable positions. And so, it is recommended that in fulfilling their obligations, states should pay particular attention to the desparate impact that limitations on access to and use of digital technologies can also have on minorities, political opponents and activists, as well as on the overall health of the internet. 

Given that a growing number of Cameroon citizens are using ICTs on a regular basis and which has made digital technologies pivotal to their livelihoods, the introduction of the new tax could undermine internet access and affordability, and therefore weaken the potential for ICTs to catalyze free expression and civic participation. It is therefore incumbent on the Cameroon Digital Rights Coalition and the Cameroon Internet Society to quickly move in to convene stakeholders to deliberate on the economic, social and human rights impact arising from the new taxes, especially as it would mean that the end user would now have to share the little amount he/she had to pay for airtime with the mobile phone operator and the customs department. The proposed dialogue should also deliberate on how policy making processes can advance inclusive and equitable access to the internet, promote innovation and consumer rights protection as aptly recommended by Clement Voule, United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association online. 


Colbert Gwain is International Freelance reporter/writer, award winning Digital Rights advocate, Content Creator @TheColbertFactor, legislative advocacy Campaigner for a comprehensive Digital Rights Bill, Privacy and data protection laws for Cameroon, Facebook Trainer of Trainers for Central African zone, promoter, Cameroon Association of Content Creators, CACC, and working on New Digital Civil Society in Africa Playbook. You can talk back at dignitytelevision69@gmail.com
    

Cham Victor Taking Cameroon's media landscape by storm!



Municipal Updates Goes Daily with outstanding Innovations  The Newspaper, Municipal Updates becomes a daily this Monday the 31st January 2022.


The newspaper, first published in 2015 as a tool to inform the community on development in municipalities has grown into a foremost newspaper in the country.

Since its first publication, Municipal Updates have gone forward to publish 195 editions though suffering a window period that saw the publisher, Cham Victor Bama go back to school to up his know-how in Journalism.



Municipal Updates returned to the stands in 2019 as a biweekly and on Monday will become just the second English Language Daily in Cameroon.

To ensure that this venture doesn't hit the rocks, the Publisher has set up an ultramodern printing press with state-of-the-art infrastructure to house both the printing press and the Newspaper.

Cham Victor Bama has ensured that Journalists worth the name have been recruited to pilot this new daily in the market.

The publisher has also promised readers that the French version of the paper will hit the stands in the next 90 days while Municipal Afrique, a Magazine to Chronicle communal development in Central Africa will be launched before the year draws to a close.

As the publisher seeks to formally launch Municipal Updates daily this weekend in Yaounde, the publisher has in sight the creation of a television station in the nearest future.

Readers and writers for Municipal Updates have saluted the former newspaper vendor for the giant strides made in the journalism landscape in Cameroon.

From a periodic newspaper to a weekly, bi-weekly to now a daily, the first fruits of the Daily newspaper will harvested this Sunday nationwide.


    

World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture



Young people from Burkina high school in Adamawa have shown readiness to support government in promoting African cultures even in times of Covid 19.

Despite the existence of the pandemic, Culture should play its cathartic role, said a stakeholder. Culture according to the youths, mends broken hearts. However, the effects of the pandemic have not spared this sector.

The celebration of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture 2022 edition, gave Burkina high school students the opportunity to reaffirm their availability to support the governments of the republic to promote African culture even in times of covid19. 

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), people of Africa are characterized by the richness and diversity of their cultures. 

These cultures of Africa and the diaspora have woven through centuries,  and the continents have unique ways of thinking and feeling, experiencing and saying or demonstrating their culture.


This rich heritage has never ceased to be revisited, reinvented and reinterpreted in establishments, it goes far as making one to discover itself.

As the world celebrates the 2022 edition of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture, the cultural sector is going through immense "difficulties linked to the pandemic" and the deep crisis in which the sector has fallen. 

A situation that has had huge consequences on economic development.

"Building differently and better. Be aware that youths are the future of the nation. It is then more than necessary for them to help the cultural sector to overcome the challenges", Aissatou Ahmira, Student at the high school in Burkina-Adamawa region.

"To rebuild as relays of the current generation differently and better, we will need the inspirational force of culture", she specifies, who explains that " the promotion of cultures African and Afro-descendant is all the more essential as the global crisis has exacerbated all the tensions in our societies".

This new edition of the World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture is an opportunity to honor and highlight different cultures, in their diversity, as in their topicality. 

January 24 was designated by UNESCO as World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture during the 40th session of its General Conference in 2019. 

This date was not chosen at random. It coincides with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Through the celebration of this day, UNESCO intends to encourage African States to promote the widest possible ratification and implementation of this Charter. The objective is to strengthen the role of culture in promoting peace on the continent.

African states must prevent the health crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic from putting the continent's rich culture at risk. A situation that could only exacerbate the ills of the continent.



 By Katakap Heritier
    

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Rural Women Leaders Revise Peace Actions, Proposing Way foward



SNWOT, South West North West Women Taskforce has engaged rural women leaders drawn from all 7 divisions of the NW in discussions to better understand how much work needs to be done in amplifying voices of women in the peace building process.


They met on January 26th, 2022 at Faith Building Ntarinkon, Bamenda to discuss what has been done in the past, what loop holes to fill and proposing what has to be done to attain the much talk about Peace.


Bolima Nancy, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for SNWOT and the Focus Group Discussion Lead, says SNWOT is concerned in doing something more, away from what has been done in involving women in Peace Building.

"This focus group discussion is intended to build on their understanding of peace, to get their needs, their challenges, their barriers, their recommendations that we will now use to influence the modules that we are going to develop for capacity building".

Guided by a questionaire, these women showed proof of having different understanding of what peace is all about, stating that there are other sub conflicts that exist in their communities, caused by aspects that require sensitizing the man on the streets.

They cited issues arround inheritance, birthright, the aspect of descrimination, name-calling hatespeech, stigmatization. With all this creating a situation of no trust amongst people living within a community.


Women, being one of the most vulnerable groups in times of conflict, these women say they are not relenting efforts, believing change will come from little actions carried out from individual ends, geared towards Peace building in communities.

"Conflict acessement, looking at root causes of conflict, improving on economic livelihood, respect of rights" are some of the key points advanced during discussions, stating that some key actors can pacify for this to be a reality in their communities.

Despite the ongoing crisis, key actors in peace building exist in rural communities like;
traditional rulers, familly heads, religious authorities, opinion leaders, dialogue communities,
Youth leaders organizations, doing their best to organize group discussions, building healthy minds.

Some of the women complained about being targets as they engage in Peace talks, some of them maintained that their husbands were a hindrance on their moves towards the subject matter.

"I have been faced with confrontations, while identifying the needs of people in the community. This focus group discussion has helped me to identify ideas that can help build peace in my community", a participant told civiclens.

Thus, the fear syndrome became a major barrier, a challenge to advocate for Peace, the problem of no ressources, most especially financial resources and the aspect of caged mindsets, breaking some believes, has been a huge challenge for most of the women.


Some women revealed that they have carried out Peace talks by getting involved with; The 16 days activism against GBV, engaging members of their community in peace talks when they meet at social gatherings, organize games; using sports as a unifying factor.

According to them, one of the ways out of conflict and attaining Peace is by Justice; having an effective electoral process. Stating that some elite have become sell outs and no longer look out for their people; identifying their need and also involve opinion leaders in decision making.

Their opinions about International Communities intervening through their Peace or humanitarian actions, revealed that they don't find their intervention sustainable.

"They re not helping, they are not looking into the root causes of conflict. They come to give food when we have nowhere to cook it. It's like they have a selfish aim"

"They haven't helped us, they are rather worsening the problem, they have not intervened properly, they have selfish gains. They haven't travelled to see realities in the ground, they are doing window dressing solutions", an opinion of a woman from Menchum.


"IDP stuff should go to the persons who need them, people who can afford keep collecting all the time in the pretense of hosting displaced persons, while stopping the real people affected from getting help", a woman from momo.

"Some organizations in one hand, don't get first hand information on what happens on ground, reason why goods get to different beneficiaries", a woman from Batibo stated.


SNWOT's intension is to build a momentum, so that the peace work they do should have it's impact is felt, using different approaches than shouting or whaling on the streets.




By Ndefru Melanie
ndefrumelany@gmail.com
678415536/670426692
civiclensnews@gmail.com
    

Adamawa Region: Administration, Elites, Stakeholders In Vina Encourage Best Practices



A coordination meeting held between the elite of vina and forces of law and order in Vina division, Adamawa region to set rules that will guide them in good land management practices and spare the local population of security threats.

Following reports of several malpractices in some communities, the meeting held for 2 days to discuss the maintainance of order and was presided by the Senior Divisional Officer for Vina, Yves Bertrand Ayounfack.

The phenomenon of kidnapping  was reviewed as one of the most recurrent crime perpetrated in Vina division, adding up to the behavior of some traditional chiefs over disputes on the designation of other majesties.

The session diagnosed after evaluation, the social, economic and political life of the people living in Vina division, Adamawa and on one hand, discussed aspects of their security situation.

The Divisional officers of all 8 subdivisions in Vina, Divisional delegates, heads of public and parapublic services, heads of public and private schools, traditional leaders and all forces answered present to better present the situation in their different jurisdictions.


Vina is a division in Adamawa region, Cameroon. The division covers an area of 17,196 km2 and has an estimated population of over 300,000.


By Katakap Heritier

    

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

CCMN North Sets Action Plan for 2022



The Cameroon Community Media Network is seen as a tool in achieving peace in conflict hit areas, as is in the case of the community in the North, stroke by borko Haram attacks, with other sub conflicts emerging given the challenging context.

CCMN North comprising over thirty journalists, animators and some members of civil societies, meet to remobilize troops around the team led by Reverend Pastor Nta William of the Presbyterian Church and National Peace Office Coordinator, in order to revisit actions carried out in 2021 and set the course for 2022.

Among the challenges faced throughout the CCMN program, is the registration of CCMN members on the eve of the general assembly to hold in the coming months. The North is already affirming its desire to see its members at the national office.


"The North West and South West regions of Cameroon are affected by a crisis which is weakening the unity of this country. This crisis, which began in 2016, calls into question living together, a value that is very dear to the Cameroonian people."

"In this climate of confusion, the press plays a major role since it participates in the political debate. Therefore, it is important to train journalists in the concept of peace.
This has the effect of strengthening their capacities in journalistic writing in connection with peace and living together, guarantees of lasting peace.". Rev. Nta William, facilitator, Peace Coordinator.

Commenting on the training, a Journalist with Woila FM in Maroua, Far North region says the workshop was “extraordinarily rewarding".

"We all come from areas where there is conflict in one way or another. We have learned that the journalist has an essential role in the management of conflicts. The implementation of all the knowledge we have acquired during this training will certainly make our communication organs credible and because of this, we will be able to contribute not only to stability but also to social cohesion”, Boubakari Amadou.



By Katakap Heritier
    

Friday, January 21, 2022

Public Independent Conciliator 's Office, Existing to Serve Local Population



Tamfu Simon Fai, Public Independent Conciliator for the Northwest region has stated firmly that his office exisit in order to pay attention to the needs of the man on the streets.


It was revealed during an information serminar in Bamenda with major stakeholders; Mayors and S.D.Os that the PIC will accompany councils in finding solutions to the problems they are facing.

"The PIC is focussed in a situation where one feels he/she feels is not well served. The competence of the 
PIC is working with stakeholders, targeting the population", Public Independent Conciliator confirms.


In the Northwest region, land disputes is said to be an existing conflict, long before the armed conflict. According to some Mayora attending the serminar, some councils face difficulty in carrying out their functions or projects in the area and so requested that councils be part of the land consultative board.


"Competences have been transferred to councils without the means, collecting taxes is now a daunting task given our context. We are hoping the PIC can cause the state to accompany the councils in this challenge" Tanjong Martin Tubah Council.

The Public Independent Conciliator reiterated that the objective of the PIC is to look at the services offered by the councils to the population and look at the conflict between the two.

"We are involved with service providers and service users. The problem between the the mayors and the D.O is none of the PIC's concern".

Some mayors believe that councils are already major stakeholders with the PIC and have a liason in activities. The Mayor of Widikum, Fundong and Andek Council, shared their opinions with civiclens.


"Councils are partners with the PIC and function squarely as it tries to reconcile the council and it's users. In the likes of disputes within councils, there is; conflict of interest, conflict of functions, conflict of competence between council executive and subordinates, between councils and local administration; traditional rulers and other stakeholders", Mayor Andoh Stanislaus Tambu, Widikum Council


"The serminar helped us to understand that we need to talk and sensitize the people we serve; telling them that if they are not satified with the services we offer, they have a place to complain which was not the case before. We raised issues that concerned mayors and learnt that while setting up structures in our council areas, we will have need to liase with the PIC for follow up, monitoring and evaluation." Mayor Ndang Denis, Fundong Council.


Mayor Ubangoh-Helly of Andek Council explained that I'm his opinion, the PIC exist to debunk the misunderstanding of the 2019 new laws efforced by the State.

"The PIC is a very important instrument that has come to stay, there have been alot of misunderstanding with 2019 laws which according to him has caused many not to listen to Mayors. The PIC will serve as an interface between users and the councils. With a third party, alot of things will be made easier", Mayor Andek Council.


A work session held amongst mayors, administrators to understand ways in which efforts can be harnessed with the office of the Public Independent Conciliator, to bring forth solutions to problems faced in their different sectors, which are also in the Interest of the common man.



By Ndefru Melanie
678415536
ndefrumelany@gmail.com

    

Thursday, January 20, 2022

"Meet the People" Tour in Meiganga



Administrative authorities of Meiganga, in Horé Kouni division, Adamawa have saluted the dynamism and efforts of His Majesty MANSOUROU SAIDOU during the contact tour of the sub prefect, Mebenga Yaya.


According to local authorities, this was the best way to present recognition of his Majesty to public authorities. Described as "a very dynamic and indefatigable third-degree traditional chief of the village in Honré Kouni, is said to be very attentive to his people and echoes the slightest cries of the populations.

From the denunciation of the abusive occupation of the land through the infrastructural needs, putting himself in the shoes of the local indigenous populations, assking mischievous foreign compatriots; "What will become of young infants, yet to be born, if their only family patrimony is thus maliciously invaded and occupied?".


The population were asked not to allow themselves be robbed of their essential source of income which is the land and that grievances be transmitted when they failnto do what is expected of them.



For the administrative authority and patron of the capital of the Mberé, "this situation risks creating social unrest within families, as well as between the indigenous populations, the buyers, both for the exorbitant and illegal areas".

The debate on the legal value of the famous customary rights session certificate is said to be back on the table, to stop the the establishment of fake documents that reveal persons owning tens or even hundreds of hectares of land to the detriment of the elites and future generations of the land.

On the social and health level, his Majesty presented the needs for teaching staff and the desire to see a health training unit or institution built in the village. According to him, this innovations will promote the living together advocated by the Head of State, President Paul Biya

Other grievances were presented to the sub-prefect, in particular the construction of the road which leads to HORÉ KOUNI, the construction of a police station, the construction and equipment of a support center for vulnerable people.

The grievances of sons and daughters of Horé Kouni were presented, requesting the discretionary power of the Head of State to raise them in the circles of high decision-making in Cameroon, while bringing administration closer to the people.




By Katakap in Admawa
    

Public Independent Conciliator's Office Exist, Hope to NW Population



The existence of the PIC, the Public Independent Conciliator in the Northwest region, demonstrates that government saw the need for a 3rd party in conflict.

Though the structure doesn't listen to land disputes or chieftancy squabbles, Tamfu Simon in the person of the Public Independent Conciliator says the rights of persons will be protected, while ensuring follow up within public services.

"The PIC will embrace a peaceful method of settling disputes between parties to protect users against violations of their rights and to prevent abuses and discrimination. It has the mandate to investigate the functioning of public services at the Regional Assembly and local council levels, encourage, promote and ensure ethical conduct on the part of our stakeholders among others".

"The law does not mandate the PIC to resolve issues between private individuals and does not solve land of chieftancy issues". PIC.


According to the City Mayor, represented by his deputy, the existence of the PIC is in a way concretising the special status of the Northwest region, indicating the consolidation of the decentralization process.

"Beside the reconstruction process, Bamenda needs moral and psychological support " Deputy City Mayor.


The institution comprised of 8 staff; 6 men and 2 women, representing all the 7 divisions that make up the Northwest region. NW Governor says, he will not relent efforts to give the PIC the maximum support needed to function.

"I wish to Call on the population to appropriate this offer, as an additional tool to pacify the region, on my part and that of my team, we will mobilize support and ease the work of the PIC and stakeholders in the Northwest region".

Working with major stakeholders imvolved with the development of the Northwest region, is priority to the office of the Public indeed Conciliator, taking into consideration the necessary actions needed to hasten development in the conflict stricken region.



By Ndefru Melanie
ndefrumelany@gmail.com
678415536


    

Regional Tax Head Adamawa, Implements Innovations of 2022 Finance Law



After the launch of the region's budget on January 5th and 6th 2022, a team from the Adamawa regional tax center went to the field on January 19, 2021 with a view to popularizing the tax innovations of the finance law under of the 2022 financial year. 

Close collaborators like Mr Otseng Jean Claude and the taxpayers of Adamawa, the head of the regional tax center of Adamawa presented a situation of non-profit organizations, referring to them as "famous tax on tontines" specifying that, the regional delegation of taxes will go to associations after a tour lead by the head of competent admiratrive authority.


According to the Head of tax, there will be no question of a witch hunt, while adding that the rate of 0.2% on deposit and withdrawal tax is not a novelty, but that it existed in Kenya for example this rate is 12% against 5% in Gabon; "Let the show of social networks stop, We are even lucky ".

He urged taxpayers to take a tour through the management center to approve support for small and medium-sized businesses.



By Katakap in Adamawa
    

Sunday, January 16, 2022

MTN Cameroon Rated Best by Two Global Companies



MTN Cameroon, Cameroon's leading telecommunications company and used by many people acrossed the national territory and beyond, has announced that its network has been certified best in the country in 2021 by two world renowned agencies: Rohde & Schwarz and Umlaut, a subsidiary of Accenture.

After measuring some operations, MTN Cameroon recieved an award prize between May and October from Umlaut, and from September to November 2021 for Rohde & Schwarz.

These global agencies went to distances as far as over 9,000 km across the country's regions to carry out more than 69,000 tests on various mobile services: quality of voice calls, online data transfer, video streaming, Internet browsing and the publication of content on social networks. 

Data was analysed according to standards defined by the International Telecommunications Union, among others.

"Rohde & Schwarz SwissQual AG used a fully transparent, harmonised and user-centred measurement methodology. The calculation of the overall performance was also based on this approach."

"This methodology includes; key aspects of mobile communications services and the network performance results reflect the perception of users on a daily basis, regardless of the technology available," explained the international agency.

The tests and analyses show that MTN Cameroon has the best performance for both voice calls and mobile Internet. Hence the certification as the best network in the country in 2021 by Rohde & Schwarz.

For Umlaut, the assessments focused on the quality of mobile internet. Within six months, the platform collected and analysed 175 million samples from over 74,000 users. The tests concluded that MTN Cameroon had the best performance overall notably in the latency and download speed segments.

"Congratulations to MTN Cameroon. Our analysis method is the de facto industry standard because we evaluate the global digital infrastructure in a fair and transparent way," said Hakan Ekmen, Global CEO, Telecommunications of Umlaut.

"We are used to saying that our network is not only unbeatable, but also the number one network in Cameroon. This is not an advertising slogan since analyses according to international standards prove this assertion.

This achievement is the result of significant and sustainable investments over more than 20 years now. Investments in equipment, technology and above all in experienced and motivated men and women," said Stephen Blewett, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Cameroon.

Used by millions of people across the national territory and beyond, MTN's network covers 97% of the population in Cameroon through 2G, 3G, 4G and or 4.5G technologies. The leading operator has recently committed to continue investing to improve the extensiveness, robustness, resilience and above all the quality of experience for each of its 10 million subscribers.
    

Friday, January 14, 2022

A 75 year Old Targeted, Killed by "Armed men"



"At about 5.30 pm on January 11th 2022, my father was at home watching football...later on, one person in the house alerted that the boys are arround", Pa Tingum's daughter.

This is the type of danger feared by anyone living in the Northwest region, particularly in very hostile areas within the town of Bamenda.

Some people brave the odds to live in these hostile areas because they simply don't have the means to relocate to areas they consider safe.


Information has it that Tingum David generally known as Pa German Trench has had several threats from seperatists fighters but in his usual manner he has often chased them away with whistle.



"It is the first time they came to our house and raining terror, my dad came out on that Tuesday, after hearing gunshots to check who was firing gunshots in his compound but they shattered his lower abdomen with 3 bullets".


Pa was shot Infront of his grandchild. One of Pa's inlaws said, "the death of this my relation has really touched me badly", in tears another familly relation narrates how painful the death has been to him.

"The death of my relation pains me so badly because he was the one helping the familly".

The familly has debunked information circulating on social media that Pa earlier tried stopping the kidnap of a lady, they say armed men came to their compound and targeted Pa in pidgin, saying;

"na u d ever shout nor, na u d ever blow whistle when we come nor, then they fired at him and the only thing we heard was aie aie aie and pa was gone" said a familly relation.

The familly has since debunked this news as fake. Famillies across the region have been loosing love ones on daily basis. As the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest region is prolonged, many more famillies are plunged into misery, they are wondering how long these will continue before a sustainable solution is sort.

Administrative authorities have often blamed the local population for hiding those they called terrorists in their midst, as they have seized opportunities to commit atrocities. 

The administration continues to call on the population to denounce those carrying these acts in their communities.

The conflict in Anglophone Cameroon started in 2016, with street protest by Teachers and Lawyers and since then according to the UN, over 3000 people have died, more 500 thousand displaced and many are at risk of food insecurity according to the World food programme. 


By Ndefru Melanie
ndefrumelany@gmail.com
Civiclens.info

    

Thursday, January 13, 2022

North-West Regional Assembly Strengthens Ties With Communication Family



For some time in the North-West region, the media family felt left out of activities that had to do with the Regional House of Assembly.

During public ceremonies at the Regional Assembly, journalists were required to produce several documents as a precondition for coverage.

NW Press

To improve ties with the communication family, the President of the Regional Assembly, Professor Fru Angwafor III convened a press dinner to find ways of better communicating activities of the Regional Assembly, especially those that are of interest to the common man on the streets.

To concretely improve on communication ties with the press in the Northwest region, the President believes this is important and key to help the image of the institution.

President Regional House of Assembly

"We thank the media family of the region for accepting to have this conversation with the Regional Assembly. It is important that we start the year with people whom we think are key in working with the Regional Assembly, to send the right info and create the right attitudes and get the population work towards the betterment of our lives,” Professor Fru Angwafor said.

Dingana Raymond, Drayinfos

Grand Master Nji, CJTU President

Bakah Derick, Hilltopvoices

Journalists who answered present at the dinner spoke bluntly about how they felt given the treatment hitherto reserved for them before and after coverage. 

Ndi Elvis, President CAMASEJ

Other key worries were presented as many keep asking questions on how the Regional Assembly functions in the context of special status.

The President of the Regional Assembly listened carefully to the worries presented to him and suggested that the year will be different given that the media will help the house communicate authentic information while shaping opinions and character, gearing towards the peacebuilding process.



By Ndefru Melanie
ndefrumelany@gmail.com
civiclens.info