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Public Servants in Cameroon

Susana Dione Epiepang

Serving the public has never been anything easy to manage. There are two kinds of public servants here in Cameroon. There are those in the private sector and others in the public sector. Those in the public sector are referred to in Cameroon, Africa and other parts of the world as Civil Servants.

It has never been easy to associate one-self in any of these political or economic sectors in the country. But once you find yourself inside, then you just have to count it as a bang of luck.

Public Servants
They are fondly called Civil Servants and occupy the highest percentage of the working population of Cameroon. To be called a civil servant, it means you are working with and paid by the government of Cameroon. There are very many different ways of becoming a civil servant.

There is the direct recruitment policy: Here the government advertises a public examination and once you are eligible and you pass, there is a very short pre-training and then you are automatically given a matriculated number and you start receiving your monthly salary.

There is also the educational recruitment policy: With this one, the candidate is recruited, when it is settled that he or she is eligible for a competitive examination which will have to go through the process of registration. Upon successfully writing, passing and being tested into the institution. When the candidate completes usually within a period of 2 to 6 years, he is then integrated into the public service, which enables him automatically to be entitled to his monthly salary and then posted to his area of responsibility.

There is then the temporal workers recruitment policy: It is quite different from the two mentioned above. The worker is recruited temporarily by any means or method, but not matriculated. The government knows you are there, because it pays you a lump-sum every trimester. Although the worker is entitled to a salary every three months, there is no guarantee that you cannot be thrown out at anytime.

This system has just been newly introduced into the Cameroonian recruitment policy, and it is working real well. The workers were indeed tested for 6 good years or more, before their confirmation letters were signed. Unfortunately, those who had been there for less than that period were sent parking. But this was short-lived, as most of them have been called back, with the hope that, another decree could be passed at any time not long from 5 years, to have them recruited again. God being their helper.

Private Sector
This sector is comprised of structures which are operating independently of the Government, but of which the government owns more than half or part of the share capital. They also can be international investments or private owned businesses, but which has a huge employment record.

It is not always easy to be employed in such structures, no matter your qualification and expertise. Most people working in such structures are doing so not because they are too qualified to be there, but because, they have been sent there, by someone who knows the director (God-Father) or an influential person in the society.

Most often some are forced to date the directors or someone who can be of influence to their being employed there. This is often a condition sine qua non and which has been the tradition in time past. It might also be that, your sister is dating the director, or is dating the director’s intimate friend. Rarely, can you find someone working with the private sector on merits and without his hands held in there. The worst job seeker experience these days is the issue of lesbianism and homosexuality.

Their salaries are usually better than those working as civil servants, but they all face common problems at job sites.

Take a good look at what workers face at their job sites, these and more:

  • Improper procedures in promoting/appointing personnel (tribalism, favoritism, intimidation)
  • Lack of transparency
  • Poor repairs of equipment
  • Income disparity
  • Misappropriation of allowances
  • Poor working conditions
  • Improper examination of files of personnel
  • Inaccessibility of Administration
  • Marginalization
  • Frustration
  • Intolerance
  • Pressure from Government
  • Lack of sufficient means
  • Lack of Cooperation
  • Political constraints
  • Bureaucracy
  • Team Work/Joint Action
  • Unambiguous texts for Administrators
  • Corruption
  • Salaries
  • Human rights
  • Opportunities
  • Aspiration
  • Sane Community
  • Confidence
  • Stability
  • Economic growth
  • Moral rectitude
  • Enactment of a Law
  • Education and Sensitization
  • Transparency
  • Sexual harassment
  • Infrastructure
  • Transfers

Susana Dione Epiepang is a reporter for the Agape Love Foundation and lives in Yaounde, Cameroon. Email: [email protected]

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