Cameroon-Minjec: Yaoundé I Municipal Councilors trained, Installed

A capacity building workshop for young municipal councilors of Yaoundé I opened in Yaoundé on May 30th, with trainees acquiring entrepreneurial skills and empowering themselves with knowledge on citizenship, good governance for the good of their municipality. 

The Minister of Youth and Civic Education was represented by the Secretary General, Zachée Robert Théophile Benga, while the Sub-prefect of the Yaoundé I subdivision chaired the opening of the workshop.

The training workshop was piloted by Harouna Nyandji Mgbatou, the Sub-prefect of that division. The three-day workshop pointed out other different modules on issues concerning health and sustainable development; but also the registration of vital events. 

The question of entrepreneurship being key on the agenda was intended to have these councilors to capable of handling or intervening at moral, civic and entrepreneurial levels.

The Mayor of the commune of Yaoundé I clarified that the workshop is a crucial step in their journey as volunteers. He expressed the wish that this training will give young young municipal councilors enough instruments that will allow them to meet the needs of the populations on the ground while allowing them to rub shoulders with the management of the community.

However, the inaugural lesson of this training was given by the Head of the Legal Affairs Division of the Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development (Minddevel). His remarks about Cameroon's march towards decentralization through the establishment of various institutions following the various constitutional amendments and laws that have reinforced this idea of ​​decentralization. 

The 2019 law on the general code of Decentralized Territorial Communities therefore marks the maturation of the concept of decentralization in Cameroon, this after the general states of decentralization of 2018. 

Another purpose of the workshop is also based on a ternary plan: sketch of the legal framework Decentralization; the municipality, the main actor in local development; citizen participation.

The council seem to have challenges in local development. Thus, the multitude of actors who are found both at the national level and at the decentralized level imcluding various partners, have been encouraged to work habd in glove to realize development goals.

Principles that allow the better implementation of the missions of the local authority were presented, including the mechanisms of management of the municipality- good governance. 

On the side of the populations, the Mayor advocated for citizen control of municipal actions, i.e. helping the municipality to monitor the projects undertaken.

Speaking of the tools of decentralization, he cites the setting up of neighborhood and village committees which are bodies which allow a territorial network of the community with the mission of helping to maintain the infrastructures of the locality in a logic of the principle of subsidiarity. 

"It is an instrument placed with the municipality to allow young people to appropriate the work of the community through their participation, so that we have young people who are citizens and not followers. This is a strategy to support the Mayor", he concludes.

"Minjec initiated the project to strengthen the civic participation of young people through the establishment of young municipal councilors which was the very first launched by the Minjec on February 1, 2021".

"The civic-enterpreneurial rearmament, will be in three phases; the councilors  and active citizenship, councilors -peace and conflict prevention, Councilors and volunteering, which are all modules that will be given during this capacity building training session".

Other modules on leadership, gender, social inclusion and participation; on health and sustainable development, will end as councilors will assist in setting up projects, construction, implementation and action planning, i.e. at the end of this workshop, before their installation, the young people will have set up their action plan to say exactly what their volunteering journey will be like from this day May 30, 2022 to May 30, 2023. 

These are exactly the steps they will take and which will allow them to will have completed their volunteering course, explained Abdoullah Allamine, head of the studies and projects unit at the Minjec.

The low participation of young people, especially young girls, in local development actions despite the supervision efforts made by the public authorities; low perception of development issues and challenges at national and local levels; of limited interest vis-à-vis local public action.

Youth Municipal Councils are mechanisms for mobilizing, welcoming, supervising and taking action for young people aged 15 to 34 who have volunteered for a period of one year with a municipality or a region for their participation in the management of local public affairs. 

It is also a framework for learning and initiating responsible citizenship, for intergenerational exchanges, for building and consolidating civic awareness among young people.

The general objective of these structures created by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education is to promote the voluntary and civic participation of young people in local development.

By Communication Unit

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