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The Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action


CACLiTA known as the Central African Centre for Libertarian thought and Action is a Central African Region based think tank grounded on free market ideals and limited government. This think tank is envisaged to be headquatered in Yaoundé, the political Capital of Cameroon, though for the moment the team still works from home.

CACALiTA’s vision is to be the premier Centre for freemarket oriented and Liberal policy analysis, education and reform in the Central African region. Furnishing governments, organisations and indivisuals with evidence based policy alternatives is part of our vision.

The threaths which CACLiTA will face include intimidation from opressive government regimes in the Central African region who may view CACLiTA as a threath to regimes that have failed in spearheading development and in promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship especially in revamping the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors in the Central African region.

CACLiTA’s mission is to advocate for free market ideals especially in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. Of course CACLiTA aims to reshape policy in the above mentioned sectors by clamouring for a change in governance. Drawing on developments in other parts of Africa and the world to strengthen the political and economic atmosphere in the Central African region, especially in states like Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic,Gabon, Congo Brazaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is part of our mission.

CACLiTA seeks to reach out to policy actors in the public and private sector, politicians and academics. At a later stage CACLiTA will also reach out to university students in a bid to reshape thier thinking on how to influence policy in the above mentioned sectors.

CACLiTA thus intends to add value via workshops, the production of policy briefs and media debates by engaging policy actors from both the public and private sectors to brainstorm on how to improve the the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. In the long run CACLiTA will be able to influence the way politicians, public and private actors and academics think with respect to adequate privatisation in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors.

Our Team
CACLiTA has two major experts who have researched widely in the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors. Chofor Che is the lead expert of CACLiTA who is a Cato Institute intern and currently an associate of the Africanliberty.org initiative, an African focused libertarian and free market initiative. He holds a Master of Laws and a Doctors of law degree from the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa. His works have appeared at AfricanLiberty.org, Le Martin, LibreAfrique.org, Next-Afrique, ContrePoints, Afrik-news.com and Algérie-focus.com. He was also a parnelist at the World Congress on Local and Regional Government Leaders which took place in Morocco from the 1 to the 4 of October 2014.

Ananga Ananga Micheal is a graduate from the US based Boston Law School and an independent oil and gas expert working as consultant for Cameroon based oil and gas companies. He has researched widely in the oil and gas sector especially in the Central African region. With such a rich pool of experts, CACLiTA is able to convey the message of improving the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors in the Central African region.

Our Partners
CACLiTA will thus have the opportunity to collaborate with regional think tanks like the Ghanian based IMANI Ghana, AfricanLiberty.org, and the South African based Free Market Foundation. CaCLiTA envisages to organise workshops and student seminars with the Moroccan based LibreAfrique.org.
CACLiTA thus calls on all lovers of liberty and free markets especially those in the United States of America, Europe and Africa to join in the mission of CACLiTA. We will thus be grateful with whatever assistance including technical advice, financial and material assistance; you can give us to better the situation of the water sector, the air transport sector and the energy and power sectors in the Central African region.

 

Boosting renewable energy for a better business environment in Cameroon, by Sirri Caro Nfornah, 13 July 2016


Cameroon is a growing economy with rapidly increasing electricity demands, particularly in the industrial sector. The utility is currently grappling with a power deficit, and energy efficiency measures are becoming critical for meeting Cameroon’s electricity demand in short to medium term. Cameroon’s development objectives, under the programme Vision 2035, contemplates significant investments in the energy sector including renewable energy. The policy goals of the government are to ensure energy independence through increased production and distribution of electricity (through the development of Cameroon’s hydropower potential), of oil and gas and to contribute to economic development. According to Basil Atangana Kouna, Cameroon’s Minister of Water and Energy Resources, “Energy supply has been the main hurdle in Cameroon’s path towards economic growth.”

According to the Electricity Sector Regulation Agency (ARSEL), Cameroon has significant considerable hydroelectric resources, renewable energies and small hydrocarbons. Apart from oil, Cameroon has natural gas reserves currently estimated at about 186 billion m³ as well as has the second hydroelectric potential in Sub-Saharan Africa after the democratic Republic of Congo(19.7 GW fair technical potential for energy production of 115 TWh / year). In terms of solar energy, Cameroon has a rich and handy potential, especially in the country’s northern part.

The organization, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) in a 2012 Policy Database reported that, 70% to 80% of Cameroon’s power is derived from hydropower sources, with the remainder from conventional thermal sources. Cameroon’s first independent power producing agreement (IPP) will add 216 MW in power generation and trigger the development of Cameroon’s gas reserves, as yet unexploited. Also, Cameroon will further increase its generation capacity when the new Lom Pangar plant becomes fully operational. Moreover, the wind potential of Cameroon is significant and economically exploitable, mainly in the regions of western Cameroon and the Adamawa region. Cameroon thus stands to gain much from exploiting additional resources for electricity supply, and promoting a market-oriented energy policy.

Despite the country’s abundant resource potential and availability of conventional (oil and gas) and renewable (hydro and solar) resources, energy access rate is very low, standing at only 18% in 2013. According to the World Bank Investment Climate Assessment, limited access to reliable electricity is among the 5 top obstacles to doing business in Cameroon. It is estimated that the lack of reliable energy services is costing Cameroon close to 2% of the gross domestic product growth.

Although they are prescribed by the regulations in force, renewable energies are almost inexistent in Cameroon. Law N ° 2011/022 of 14 December 2011 governing the electricity sector in Part IV spells out general goals for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and for the use of renewables within the context of expanding rural electrification. The law also states that the State will ensure the promotion and development of renewable energy through establishing regulation for conditions and mechanisms for research, development, production of equipment and project financing. Also, in its title IV, Chapter I, Law n°98/022 of 24 December 1998 governing the electricity sector, the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL) and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) are in charge of the promotion and the follow-up of the use of the primary sources of energy, in particular renewable sources.

According to REEEP in the same report quoted above, the key constraints facing the electricity sector relate to the narrow geographic space and relative obsolescence of the transmission and distribution networks. Consequently, there is significant unmet solvent demand. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the country’s three main transmission grids are completely isolated from one another and no exchange of available surpluses can be made between the grids.

Cameroon’s Ministry of Water Resources and Energy (MINEE) through ARSEL requested the formulation of a National Policy, Strategy and Action Plan for the development of Energy Efficiency Policy in the country which would be developed by 2030 yet it seems the formulation and implementation of the long-term Energy Sector Development Plan (PDSE 2030) is lagging.

Renewables are often identified as too costly, mainly due to high investment costs. The renewable sector unfortunately lacks competent human resources to plan, design, install, monitor and maintain energy systems — but demand for this expertise is growing. Addressing the human resource issue is a key point for attaining the objectives.

In order to meet the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, effective leadership is also a key issue for the attainment of the targets within Cameroon. At national and regional levels, political authorities should be involved and support the action. There is also need for these leaders and actor to be corrupt free. This would lead to the generation of champions. It is also important to promote private investments in the electricity sector, in order for the population to benefit from a competitive service through innovation and efficient management of the available resources.

Moreover, politicians and government leadership of the country have to be aware of the opportunities that exist in the use of Renewable Energy as an alternative source of energy, and then put policies in place to advance the sector.

A renewable energy policy is being prepared, with policy goals to increase the share of renewables in power and heat generation, and to involve private capital in the delivery of energy but it has to be an articulate energy policy which is vital in leading the country towards effective utilisation of its resources. This policy will favour investments in the corporate and industrial sector to invest.

The need for scaling-up investments in small- to medium- sized renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Cameroon remains urgent. In spite of the country’s endowment of vast renewable energy resources, much of the population still suffers from limited access to affordable and reliable modern energy services.

The current state of affairs in the Cameroonian energy sector should be an eye-opener for the country to raise awareness and educate key stakeholders to create and develop an enabling environment for rapid renewable energy market development.

Mrs. Sirri Caro Nfornah is a diplomat by training currently at the Ministry of External Relations, Cameroon. She also doubles as the Public relations Officer for the Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action, (CACLiTA), Cameroon.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in corruption, renewable energy

 

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The claws of corruption tear into Cameroon’s Memve’ele hydroelectric project, by Chofor Che, 30 June 2016


The National Anti Corruption Agency of Cameroon with French acronym CONAC released its 2014 anti corruption report on Monday the 27 of June 2016. Reverend Dr. Dieudonne Masi Gam, President of CONAC revealed to the public that the state of Cameroon has lost over 17 billion frs cfa to corruption with respect to several major projects including the Memve’ele hydro electric project.

Cameroon Tribune dated the 28 of June 2016, reports that an alarm was raised by the affected population of the Memve’ele hydroelectric dam project in Nyabizan, a locality found in the South region of Cameroon of gross malpractices in the payment of compensation to victims. Several teams from CONAC were sent to the field in 2014 to investigate these malpractices. It was realised that over 1.7 billion frs cfa which was supposed to be given to victims who had lost buildings and crops because of this very important project was swindled. According to Cameroon Tribune and other local papers like Le Messager, many people who were not to benefit from such compensation falsely benefitted.

There were signs of joy and satisfaction on the faces at the locality of Nyabizan, host to the highly economic-driven Memve’ele Hydroelectric Power Project on June 15 2012 when the Head of State, President Paul Biya layed the foundation stone for the project to officially kick off. According to a report by Cameroon Tribune dated 18 June 2012, the population was indeed edified by this ceremony personally presided by the President of the Republic. For a state whose electricity supply merely reaches 900 kilowatts for an ever growing population coupled with an estimated demand of almost double that amount pending the realisation of many announced industries, it was but normal for Cameroonians from all over the country to have braved the thick Equatorial forest and poor state of road to be part of this important event.

“Without energy, there can be no real development. There can be no industry. Our agricultural and mineral raw materials cannot be processed. In short, there can be no modern economy.” These revelation from the President of the Republic captured in the above mentioned Cameroon Tribune report of 18 June 2012 gave a true picture of the chronic energy situation the country faces. The President acknowledged that the chronic power outages in the country have made the lives of a great portion of the population unbearable. “The often extended periods of load shedding have also disrupted work in government services, social services such as hospitals, and even security agencies”, he added that the chronic electricity crisis in Cameroon has not only led to material damage but also led to the loss of human lives. The Head of State promised Cameroonians that the construction of Memve’ele hydroelectric dam was just the beginning of good things to come. “In the coming months, construction works on the Lom Pangar and Mekin dams and power plants will be launched and further studies for the Warak and Menchum hydroelectric dams will be conducted, pending the completion of the Sanaga hydroelectric power project”, he added.

It is rather a shame that five years after, this long awaited hydroelectric project should be entangled in a claws of corruption. There is no gainsaying that Cameroon is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This is evidenced by Transparency International reports as well as reports from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Several authorities have been arrested because of corrupt malpractices especially with respect to water and energy projects but the situation continues to get worse. Part of the reason why Cameroon is still plagued by such scandals is that there are so many uncoordinated and inadequate legal and institutional safeguards in place to fight corruption. It is true that the country has several anti corruption units especially housed in ministerial departments, but in actual fact these anti corruption units are inefficient and poorly staffed. It is very disturbing that an anti corruption agency such as CONAC should produce its 2014 report in 2016. The production of a report of such magnitude should be twice a year. Besides findings of other corruption agency in the country remain a secret to the Cameroon population and the international community. There is no need for the creation of several ineffective anti corruption agencies which are heavily funded by tax payers monies while the country continues to be ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

The country has to thus revisit its anti corruption strategy especially with respect to hydroelectric projects such as the Memve’ele hydroelectric project. Government officials commissioned to undergo such compensations need to be well trained. There is equally a need for mixed commissions which include anti corruption experts, members of the companies carrying of the projects, representatives of the populations like Mayors and Parliamentarians and Senators. Such measures may go a long way to curb corruption.

Chofor Che is Chair/Co founder of the Central African Centre for Libertarian Thought and Action, Cameroon. He is also an Atlas Leadership Academy graduate, analyst with AfricanLiberty.org and LibreAfrique.org

 
 

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