The Democratization Process in Cameroon, Thirty (30) Years After Democratic Transition (1990-2020): Achievements, Challenges, Uncertainties and Prospects.

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Democratization Process in Cameroon, Thirty (30) Years After Democratic Transition (1990-2020): Achievements, Challenges, Uncertainties and Prospects.

Dr. William Hermann Arrey & Dr. Steve Tametong Nguemo Tsidie
1Senior Lecturer and Chair-Department of Peace and Development Studies,
Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations
Protestant University of Central Africa (PUCA). Yaoundé, Cameroon.
2Research Fellow in Democracy and Governance,
Nkafu Policy Institute, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: How to apprehend and describe the democratic process in Cameroon three decades after the democratic transitions of the 90s? This is the question at the heart of this contribution, which aims to highlight the achievements, analyze the contingencies of practice and lay the groundwork for a better entrenchment of democratic culture and the rule of law. Based on the analysis of legal texts and the description of the facts, the study shows that the formal gains of the democratic process are shaken, thirty years later, by numerous crises: institutional crisis; crisis of public freedoms and the rule of law; crisis of electoral democracy. The relaunch of the democratic process necessarily requires a renewal of political leadership, the grooming of certain ‘liberticidal’ laws, the establishment of fair rules for electoral competition, the education of the people in democratic culture and the decisive contribution of the diaspora in the peace and development process of Cameroon.

Keywords: Cameroon, Democratization, Democratic Transition, Democratic Practice, Thirty (30) Years.


The year 2020 was a pivotal and symbolic year in the march of the African continent on the paths of democracy (Holeindre and Riched, 2010). In fact, it is thirty (30) years ago that almost all African States engaged in the liberal movement in favor of democratic transitions (Gouard, 2010; Conac, 1993; Quantin and Dalloz, 1997) of the 1990s following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet bloc. For its part, Cameroon has experienced the democratic transition (Onana, 1994; Kamto, 1993) and the rise of fever that has accompanied this new political era. In fact, the experience of the multiparty system experienced in the aftermath of independence in 1960 was very brief due to the very early advent of the single party in 1966 (Mahiou, 1969), the political translation of ‘unanimity’ society (Kamto , 1987) hostile to dissenting thought. Understood in this way, “the priority of development served to legitimize authoritarianism in the form of a single party” (Medard, 2010). In the name of the developmentalist ideology based on