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Assessing local government as an instrument for grassroots development: Case study Muyuka Municipality

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The major concern of this work is to assess local government as an instrument for grassroots development in Cameroon with Case study: Muyuka municipality. The objective of this study is to assess the level of performance of the Muyuka Local government council in the area of grassroots development. The work made use of statistics such as frequency distribution tables, data analysis, tools such as histograms, bar charts. Our findings revealed that the council has not performed well in developing the rural areas over the years. Various recommendations were made based on the findings among such are; increase in revenue allocation by the central government, young people should be given the opportunity to work as municipal administrators, functional evaluation committee be set up to check and verify the activities of municipal officials to curb embezzlement, the need for the council to procure tractors and fertilizers to help farmers was also recommended.



1.1 Background to the Study.

All the evidence tells us that not to empower (local people) is a tragically missed opportunity, not only to create a more just and more prosperous society, but also advance and well-being (James D. Wolfensohn as quoted from Serageldin and Steeds 1997: cover page

Cameroon operates as a unitary decentralized system of government with political capital in Yaoundé. There are 374 local government councils consisting of 360 municipal councils and 14 city councils. As creatures of the central government, local government are constitutionally mandated to perform basic functions: to provide a machinery for the provisions of corresponding services within the competence and capability of the local area; to provide machinery for the execution of central policy at the local level; to provide consensus mechanism for the resolution of conflicts of interest at the local level; and to provide a training ground for political participation and articulation. This implies that

Cameroonian local governments are to render cutting edge services that will foster socio economic development. If properly managed, local government are viable instrument for rural transformation, development and the delivery of social and services to rural communities in their jurisdiction (Sanda 1988).

Historically speaking, local governments have been assigned different functions. In colonial time, native authorities were primarily established for maintain of law and order with the emergence of independence, of social services (Adeyemo 2005). How well the Cameroonian local governments have carried out their constitutionally mandated functions of grass roots development have become a subject of national debate, among scholars and practitioners. To say the least, their operations have come under serious and severe criticisms with some persons calling for the scrapping of the extension of government or the third tier government. Local government services delivery has continued to dwindle and epileptic in nature despite financial allocation allocations, local government reforms like the 2004.

In Cameroon, the rural people (rural dwellers) are thoroughly marginalized into a vacuous existence, make up the other Cameroonian forgotten and always forgotten. The line is like a perpetually recurring bad dram, a tale of extreme want in the midst of abundance. There has been an administrative upsurge of interest in the literature on development administration arid in planning circles on positive role local government could play in national development. Usually the emphasis is in terms of using local government as strategic instrument for fostering, promoting and implementing grass roots, has since the colonial era been recognized as an institution capable of transforming the lives of the rural inhabitants either to create new local government or to revamp the existing ones in the country with the objective of utilizing them as fulcrums of rural development.

The continuous emphasis on grass roots development is understandable for it is there that the great mass of the people is: it is there that most indigenous resources of men and land are underused, there that success would be done most to slow the migration to major cities and finally, it is there that some redress of gross inequality in income distribution can be started.

It is important to note the Cameroonian local government constitution makes use of the Principle of devolution of power as stated in Article 56 (1) in the Cameroonian constitution it f states that “the state shall devolve upon regional or local authorities under conditions laid down by law, the powers necessary for their economic, social, health, education, cultural and sports development. Devolution of power should look like what is presented in the power model below

This power model is designed from the view point of Eyong Evelyn’s interest in her work “Local government and rural development”

The model guarantees representativeness. It illustrates that local government should be responsible for its actions which are based on the priorities of the people and accountability should be directed to the people. The state should probe in at the evaluation stage and access the performance of local government and accord the right people the right to cost a vote of non-confidence if they are not satisfied with the output of the local government. The state also should fill the gap where there is democratic deficit in the municipality According to Eyong (2010). When this is ensured, the local people will contribute to the stability of the state.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The need to catalyze balanced development, maximize citizens’ participation and arouse government response necessitates the creation of the local government. The local government serves as a form of political and administrative structure facilitating decentralization, national integration, efficiency in governance and a sense of belonging at the grass root. The local government is a unit of administration all over the world (Agagu, 2004)

Local government has been the root of development in terms of dealing with the people which democracy is centered upon. Hence local government is visibly seen as partners in progress with both state and central government in rural development

To this end, this study sets out to investigate the impact of local government on rural /grass root development with emphasis on Muyuka council in Cameroon. Knowing the roles, the government needs to play in development of any society and the obvious

1.3 Research Questions

  1. Does Muyuka local government council implement rules, which are beneficial to the entire community?
  2. Does the municipal staff recruit base on competence or on personal party affiliation?
  3. Does inadequate financing of the local government by the central government affect the ability of Muyuka local government council to contribute to rural development?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to assess the level of performance of Muyuka local government council in the area of rural development. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To identify the role played by the local government administration on development in the Muyuka local government area
  2. To investigate the impact of local government administration within the municipality
  3. To verify whether inadequate financing by the central government hinders the council in carrying out developmental Programmes. .


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