Cameroonians have been increasingly expressing anger and frustration as they struggle to make ends meet under President Paul Biya’s 41-year rule.
November 6, 2023, marks a grim milestone in Cameroon’s history as President Paul Biya celebrates 41 years in power, a tenure characterised by economic decline and rising food prices.
The economic hardship many Cameroonians face has sparked frustration and calls for change.
The nation’s heavy reliance on oil and gas exports has made its economy particularly susceptible to volatility in global markets, leading to instability and a decline in living standards for its citizens.
One of the most pressing concerns for the people of Cameroon is the drastic increase in the prices of basic food commodities.
The IMF indicated that the country is facing a 7.2% inflation rate this year.
Since 2021, the price of bread has doubled, and meat and egg prices have tripled.
This is making it increasingly difficult for families to afford daily meals.
The rising costs extend to other food items such as rice, plantains, salt, fish, oil, tomatoes, and bananas.
Some have attributed these price hikes to the poor state of roads that these goods travel through before reaching the market.
The economic woes have had a ripple effect on various sectors, including education and healthcare, with frequent strikes disrupting these essential services.
In 2014, the World Bank estimated that over 37.5% of Cameroonians lived below the national poverty line.
This was before the outbreak of the Anglophone and Boko Haram conflicts, which have plunged millions of Cameroonians into poverty.
Cameroonians are expressing their anger and frustration over the state of the economy, with many believing that President Biya has failed to improve their lives.
“Biya has killed the economy of Cameroon,” says one resident of Yaoundé. “He has been in power for too long, and he needs to go.”
As citizens grapple with the increasing cost of living, they also criticise the government’s response to the economic crisis, accusing it of prioritizing its interests over the welfare of the people.
Calls for change have grown louder, with many advocating for President Biya to step down after four decades in power.
The country’s few remaining companies were established during the tenure of former President Amadou Ahidjo, further highlighting the stagnation experienced during President Biya’s rule.
With the current state of the economy and growing dissatisfaction among Cameroonians, many are looking toward the future with a sense of uncertainty and hope for a better, more prosperous Cameroon.
Mimi Mefo Info