Case of Yaounde Essay



The unmanageable addition in urban population without relative addition in economic growing in African metropoliss is a call for concern. Most African metropoliss today are faced with this job. In order to guarantee the sustainability of their metropoliss, they are found in the quandary of colonial yesteryear, their civilizations and postcolonial jobs. This has pushed the urban inhabitants to utilize their available resources to transform and rehabilitate the urban infinite so as to fulfill their desires. The transmutation of the urban landscape in many African metropoliss involves societal production and societal building of the urban infinite which gives symbolic significances. Yaounde a former colonial metropolis and the capital of Cameroon has non being exempted from the transmutation procedure. In a spot to overhaul this complicated urban infinite and do it sustainable, different bureaus have come in, to transform the metropolis non merely doing it habitable but besides sustainable.

This paper hence seeks to analyse the different degrees of steps taken by the international organic structures, the authorities, private groups and persons to guarantee the sustainability of Yaounde. Emphasis will be based more on how the urban bulk ( the urban hapless ) transforms the urban landscape to do it a topographic point of chance despite the conditions they find themselves. These urban hapless come in as societal agents to build their ain world and give it a peculiar significance. The effects of this transmutation procedure will besides be critically evaluated.

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The figure of people populating today in metropoliss around the universe is increasing every twenty-four hours. It is stipulated that by the twelvemonth 2020 more that half of the universe ‘s eight billion people will be populating in metropoliss. With this general addition, metropoliss in Sub-Sahara Africa has been seen as metropoliss in crisis. This is because their rapid population growing in urban Centres is non accompanied by economic growing. This addition has non been accompanied by addition in basic installations such as H2O and electricity supply, lodging, roads and conveyance webs, sanitation etc.

Problems Faced by the City of Yaounde

After independency, Yaounde was faced with station independency jobs like many other metropoliss in Africa. These jobs greatly affected development procedure of the metropolis. The jobs range from hapless authorities policies to shortage of basic necessities and besides high rates of unemployment taking to societal jobs.

Administration failure

The manner a state ‘s is governed greatly affects it development. The metropolis of Yaounde is the Capital of Cameroon, which means if the metropolis is development it affects the whole state. Yaounde faced the job of station independency centralisation, since all the authorities offices were located in Yaounde. This centralisation led to high degrees of corruptness, misdirection of authorities financess, insufficient of answerability, insufficient democracy which affected the metropolis and the state atlarge negatively. A blazing failure of the Cameroon authorities is the uncomplete l’immeuble de la mort located at the bosom of the metropolis of Yaounde. This edifice was built to house authorities functionaries. The ground advanced for the non-completion of the edifice was that it was built on a hazardous zone, though it was subsequently confirmed to be false but as a consequence of misdirection of financess. Today the skeleton edifice stands as an empty memorial because all the things indoors have been looted.


The deficit of houses. Construction of houses on environmental hazard zones. Government built houses SIC extremely deteriorated.

Water and sanitation services

Insufficient supply of H2O and sanitation services is a great issue. Despite the attempts made by some bureaus to provide these services, the state of affairs still remains distressing particularly in the low category residential countries. There is normally no intergration between the hapless and the rich. The rich continue to settle in the rich quarters with all the basic comfortss while the hapless can merely afford to remain in the hapless quarters. There are still rampant deficits of H2O and most frequently the H2O is non of good quality because of pollution. This greatly affects the wellness of the dwellers. Even with the presence of HEVECAM ( Waste disposal bureau ) , waste disposal is still a job. Some of the quarters are non good function by route, so it becomes in accessible for the vehicle to roll up the waste. To decline the already bad state of affairs, most frequently, waste from the lavatory is being drained into nearby watercourses. Student quarters like Bonamossa experience permanent stinking adour. This does n’t merely impact the ambiance but besides the land and H2O resources which histories for the distressing wellness status of the dwellers. “The common premise that urban inhabitants enjoy better wellness than rural inhabitants does non use to the urban hapless, who seldom have the locational place and buying power to entree equal urban sanitation and wellness facilities” ( Deborah F. Bryceson 2006:25 ) . This is an ironical state of affairs rural countries really have the best H2O supplies of really good quality than the urban hapless countries.


The addition in urban population in Yaounde has led to many jobs. Because of the ill managed nature of the metropolis, there are unsustainable production and ingestion forms. This has led to untold addition in cost of life. It is hard to hold three square repasts a twenty-four hours because life is really expensive. Basic installations are really expensive. Water can be really scarce at times, non to speak of electricity, maintaining a subdivision of the town without electricity through out the twenty-four hours so as to ration the supply of electricity. Besides with the denationalization of the company, electricity measures have become exceptionally high above the degree of the urban hapless. Most of them have resorted in stealing electricity with is a great offense. The capita per income in Cameroon is. Yaounde ; …… . The effects of the structural accommodation programmes. About % live on less that a dollar each twenty-four hours.


Limited investing in the secondary and third sector. Insufficient industries they alternatively imported processed goods which are more expensive. Not pulling foreign investors, corruptness and graft, addition in foreign debt, economic misdirection.

Crime and force

Arm robbery, harlotry, scamming, corruptness, graft,


Capital of cameroon is made up of Cameroonian from all the 180 cultural groups in Cameroon but the Beti people still remain the largest individual group though they are non longer the absolute bulk except in the rural countries. Other Cameroonians from other parts are bit by bit busying the semi-urban part as a consequence of lodging jobs in the urban part, particularly the Bamilike from the West of Cameroon.

Capital of cameroon has been subdivided into different quarters which are characterized by societal coherence as a consequence of historical backgrounds, its location and cultural composing. The following quarters have developed on such bases ; quatier Bricketerie made up of largely Muslims, the Mendong vicinity made up of the Bamelikis from the West, Obili/Melen/Biyem-assi is made up of largely Anglophones from the English portion of Cameroon. Most migrators from the other states live largely in the out skirts of the metropolis. The autotones ( the Beti people ) live around the metropolis centre in quarters such as Mvog Beti, Mvog Atangana Balla, Mvog Ada, etc which are typical Beti names mvog intending mountain. There are besides administrative quarters for civil retainers, top authoritiess functionaries every bit good as military cantonments. The cardinal town of Yaounde is made up chiefly of authorities offices. Foreigners, particularly from developed states and other diplomats live in high category residential countries of Bastos and these is where all the foreign embassies are located.


The transmutation of Yaounde is a procedure that has experience enormous development since from the colonial period boulder clay day of the month. This transmutation procedure has bit by bit shifted from the populace to the private. These different bureaus are transforming the urban infinite because they do non cognize what the hereafter holds for the urban inhabitants giving the uninterrupted addition in urban population associated with many jobs. Immediately after independency, the proviso of basic services in Yaounde was in the custodies of the authorities. But as a consequence of the jobs associated with the economic crisis, the authorities though is still seting in some attempts, has non been able to sufficiently provide these basic services to all parts of the metropolis. This has left the urban hapless in some parts of the metropolis with no pick but to utilize their ain enterprises to mobilise and organize members of their one-fourth to lend financially, materially and even human resources so as to transform their vicinities to do it sustainable. This is because the impression of metropolis planning by a individual urban contriver is now a fiction. Many people are now involved in the transmutation face.

Colonial architecture

Colonial architecture and urbanism played polar functions in determining the spacial and societal constructions of African metropoliss during the nineteenth century and twentieth century ( Fassil Demissie 2007:1 ) . This is the instance of Yaounde which developed as a colonial metropolis. The Germans came to Yaounde in 1888 and started constructing up some countries into urban colonies. The Germans who colonized Cameroon during this period gave the name Yaounde after the name of the Beti sub-group Ewondo. The Beti named it Ongola after the Germans which means enclosure since the country became the military station between 1888-1917. Areas occupied by the Europeans at that clip were considered urban because they had the necessary services. They came up with infrastructural developments such as schools, infirmary, prison, churches, agricultural warehouses etc. These European settled countries considered as urban were extremely restricted. The villagers perceived it as danger zone. They had to forcefully back up the Germans and their military personnels in constructing the Yaounde metropolis. This explained why the urban population during this period remained comparatively really low.

During the First World War, the Belgian military personnels occupied the part and defeated the Germans. Cameroon hence, became a mandated district under the League of Nations in 1922 when the Germans were defeated. As a consequence of this Yaounde became the capital of Gallic Cameroon. As the administrative capital, there was an addition in civil retainers and civilian population. In 1926 urban population was about 5500 Cameroonians and 365 aliens ( Franqueville 1974:323 ) and 6190 and 261 severally in 19933 ( Kuczynski 1939:97 ) . As concerns the infrastructural development non much was done by the Gallic when compared to the Germans. They still continue to forcefully utilize largely male Gallic Cameroonians for difficult labor through the usage of the corvee in the building of roads. The Gallic besides applied their colonial policy of assimilation which was aimed at transforming the heads of Africans through instruction into Frenchmen. This theoretical political orientation aimed at building the head so that African could follow Gallic civilization and imposts was a fake because Africans remained Africans whether educated or non. After independency this transmutation face took a different dimension from a more public after to a more private matter. The attempts made by the international organisations, the authorities, NGOs and private persons will be analyzed.

International organisations

With the uninterrupted position of the metropolis as a topographic point of lasting chance, there was an unprecedented addition in population without addition in basic comfortss. The local governments did non hold the agencies to apportion these basic necessities. This led to increase in foreign debt which became out of proportion. Couple with other jobs, the Brettonwood establishments World Bank and IMF advanced the Structural Adjustment Programme which was adopted by African provinces as set of political, economic and institutional reforms. This led to the decrease of authorities disbursement. Cuting nutrient subsidies, household allowances to civil retainers were cut, devaluation in 1994 and economic crisis. This led to the outgrowth of the informal economic systems. These manners of production are based on the autochthonal traditional patterns and impressions of topographic point of prominent. Brettonhood establishments

The moroccean authorities

Hamed Toufiq Hjira and Adji Abdoulaye Haman were non embarrassed by statements of good purposes. The Moroccan and Cameroonian curates responsible for lodging issues have used a few hours at the Hilton to recognize the continued cooperation, expressed by Mohammed VI, the Moroccan sovereign, and President Paul Biya. After work, it was agreed that the Moroccan party will take part in lodging plans developed in the urban community of Douala, the local urban territory of Douala 5th with Mayor Francoise Foning made the trip to Yaounde, and in the urban community of Yaounde. Apart from these public lodging that will convey a breath of O to the metropoliss of Douala and Yaounde, the Moroccans have pledged to finish the ministry edifice No. 1 normally known as “ the decease of edifice. Consequence of this decay, slums in the bosom of a metropolis like Yaounde ( Mokolo Elobi, Ntaba… ) . Adji Abdoulaye Haman so recognized that the new national lodging scheme is a end of giving a new face in our metropoliss, and particularly combat colonies and unhealthy. This will, as in Morocco, with the uttered support of the private sector and local functionaries.


The authorities though limited has been the chief histrion in the transmutation procedure. They have put in much attempt in transforming the metropolis in footings of substructures, schools, roads, destruction of hazard prone zones, making green belts, making new residential countries, clearance.

This explains why authorities intercession in the destruction of such sites is seen as great offense. This is characterized by monolithic bereavement for the population like the destruction of the Etoudi country in 2008 by the authorities delegate. He was considered heartless.

The followers has been done by the authorities to better on the unemployment degree:
• The authorities has embarked on the launching of public “concours” such as entryway into E.N.S, POLICE ( from constable up to Commissioner ) , IRIC ( Diplomacy ) E.N.G.S.
• The authorities scheme to cut down revenue enhancements has greatly encouraged investing with the raison d’etre of such being a corresponding addition in occupation chances which has to an extend reduced unemployment rates.
• The authorities through the gradual seting in topographic point of decentalisation, evidenced by the changing of states into parts has made it possible for local councils to be financially independent doing it possible for them to supply basic installations. The authorities through revenue enhancement vacations, grants and turning away has boost the concern sector therefore encouraging petit concern with the long term consequence being an addition in employment chances.

Non Governmental Organisations

Many Non Government Organizations have been involved in sensitising the populace on the importance of transforming and guaranting the sustainability of the metropolis. They have encouraged environmental sanitation, development of substructure through participative planning and besides through the usage of civic instruction.

The Cameroon Association of Rural Development in October 2009 planted 200 trees around the 20th May Boulevard in the Centre of Yaounde. This was aimed non merely to transform the metropolis into a beautiful scenery but besides to contend against planetary heating.

There is besides the African Development Bank Group which carried out a sanitation undertaking in Yaounde in 2006. This is because the metropolis experiences hapless drainage systems particularly around the homesteader countries where about 9,000 families are affected by deluging. The specific aims of this undertaking were as follows ; to lend to ramp H2O drainage in Yaounde ; to better on the life environment of the metropolis ‘s population ; and to construct the capacities of the sector ‘s stakeholders.
Its should be noted that despite all the attempts made by the NGOs in transforming the metropolis, they are still seen by the metropolis inhabitants as money devising organisations. Most metropolis inhabitants believe that the foreign organic structures patronizing the NGOs frequently give more financess and merely a really little proportion is being used by these organisations. They are considered as money devising bureaus.

Private Persons

Private persons have transformed the metropolis infinite to accommodate their ain desires. This transmutation particularly by the urban hapless has been both negative and positive.
About everything is transformed in the metropolis dilapidated edifices like the immeuble de la mort in cardinal town which is transformed in the dark as fell out for stealers and ritual sites for acultic activities. Hazard prone zones are considered as no adult male ‘s land is merrily occupied by people urgently looking for adjustment. These infinites were normally non subjected to authorities control. Some of the quarters have mobilize to supply some basic necessities like make fulling chuckholes on the roads, seting street visible radiations at dark corners and even forming anti pack motions to contend against arm robbery. On the other manus deficiency of cooperation in some other quarters has increased the degree of slums particularly building forms and particularly waste disposal.


From the above it seen that there are many jobs associated in the addition rate of urban population in Yaounde. Though much attempts has been done some of these jobs still persist. This means much still hold to be done. To guarantee the sustainability of the metropolis, planning should be encouraged at all degrees.

REFERENCES ( others will be added )

Deborah Fahy Bryceson and Deborah Potts ( 2006 ) : African Urban Economies. Viability, Vitality or Vitiation? Palgave macmillan.

Fassil Demissie ( 2007 ) : Post Colonial African Cities. Imperial Legacies and Postcolonial Predicaments. Routledge

Paul Sillitoe & A ; Alan Becker ( 2002 ) : Participating in Development. Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge. Routledge.

Marco Keiner, Martina Koll-Schretzenmayr and Willy A. Schmid ( 2005 ) : Pull offing Urban Futures: Sustainability and Urban Growth in Developing Countries. MPG Books, Bodmin, Cornwall.


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