Traditional Authority at the Crossroads of Governance in Republican Cameroon

C Cheka
2010 Africa Development  
The study shows that traditional authority is indeed at the crossroads of governance in republican Cameroon. The citizen is bound by both modern law and traditional values; even if political theorists and leaders of republican institutions take objection to certain traditional values and seem to find difficulty over whether/how to formally integrate traditional authorities into the realm of the republic. Traditional authority incarnates a reassuring institutional stability and certainty to the
more » ... d certainty to the masses, which elected officers (who come and go) do not provide in republican institutions. The vast majority of the population feels distant from the concept of 'republic' at grassroots level, where traditional authority remains the de facto institution of local governance. Based on empirical findings that highlight the important role that traditional authorities play in local development, the paper submits that traditional authorities should be formally integrated into the republican institutional setting by effectively constituting the first level of decentralized institutions of governance. Africa Development, Vol. XXXIII, No. 2, 2008 L'autorité traditionnelle incarne une stabilité institutionnelle rassurante et une certaine constance aux yeux des populations, ce que les officiels élus (qui vont et viennent), ne parviennent pas à assurer dans les institutions républicaines. La grande majorité de la population se sent très éloignée du concept de la 'république' au niveau des masses où l'autorité traditionnelle demeure, de facto, l'institution chargée de la gouvernance locale. Se fondant sur des résultats empiriques qui mettent en exergue le rôle important que les autorités traditionnelles jouent dans le cadre du développement local, le document soutient que ces dernières devraient être formellement intégrées dans l'arène institutionnelle républicaine, constituant ainsi de façon effective le premier échelon d'institutions décentralisées de la gouvernance.
doi:10.4314/ad.v33i2.57284 fatcat:2ui3zggtxvg3fb4y7yu5yokhti