The execution of the 2020 Finance Law will be marked by the putting in place of regional councils and the furtherance of decentralization, thus putting the regions at the centre of development.
The year 2020 will certainly mark a turning point in Cameroon’s chequered history of development and right the wrongs of the past. In fact, 2020 will enter into the annals of the book where the development of the ten regions will take a different dimension. This is particularly so with the implementation of the new Code on Decentralization and Regional Authorities which will see the birth of Regional Councils as well as the deepening of transfer of resources and competences to the regions by the central administration. Another context in which the 2020 budget will be executed is the new development strategy dubbed “National Development Strategy 2020-2030. The blueprint is an encompassing development oriented policy aimed at driving growth and taking Cameroon to emergence by 2035. From the budget of 2020 financial year which is balanced in income and expenditure at FCFA 4,951.7 billion, public investment will gulp some FCFA 1,496.3 billion. The Finance Law also indicates that some FCFA 796 billion from external financing will also be dedicated to public investment in the course of the year. Allocating resources to investment projects in the finance law is one thing and effectively implementing is another. Over the past years, the execution of public investment budget has never been all bed of roses. Despite reforms in the contract award procedures, some bottleneck bureaucratic procedures still persist. The situation is further compounded with the current security challenges in the two English-speaking regions which has negatively affected execution of public investment budget in the past three years. In 2017, execution rate stood at 91.9 per cent, and in 2018 it dropped to 76.3 per cent. According to the recently published data on the execution of the 2019 State budget by the Ministry of Finance, Public Investment Execution rate from January to end of September stood at 61.1 per cent. However, the new Public Contracts Code, the online procurement system amongst others reforms, are expected to fast-forward the execution rate of public contracts this year. The gradual return to normalcy in the South West and North West Regions is also giving hopes to stakeholders especially the beneficiary population that projects earmarked in their localities will be realised for the betterment of the communities. Most of these projects notably the construction of farm-to market roads, electrification, water and sanitation, health and education, centre around providing better living conditions for the population and enhancing economic growth.