We Destroy Ourselves! [column]

The negative attitudes to work by many Cameroonians only contributes to tarnishing the image of the country.

Much damage has been done to Cameroon’s image abroad in recent years for several reasons. But the foremost is corruption, coupled with the nonchalant attitude of many people to work. There is no gainsaying that negative attitudes to work impact Cameroon’s international image and relations with partners and investors. As a result, the consequences are numerous.

Scared Investors, Discouraged Partners

The bureaucracy usually common with the handling of papers for investment purposes often has as consequence the withdrawal of potential investors. They come knocking at the doors of Cameroon in their numbers, but at the end, few investors remain. Even a good number of foreigners who invest in the country end up pulling out because of our unfriendly attitude to work.

On the other hand, Cameroon’s economic partners are sometimes shocked by our attitude to fulfilling contractual engagements. This is often evident in the provision of counterpart funding for projects initially agreed with partners. Even when funding is available, some senior functionaries are never in a hurry to see the process through, thereby drawing the ire of economic partners. The consequence is loss of Direct Foreign investment for the economy and a battered image of an irredeemably corrupt and bureaucratic nation.

Tarnished Image

Closely linked to the pullout of foreign investors is the image of the country that suffers. Since the world has since become a global village, the woes of a foreign investor in a particular country soon become common knowledge to others. And once a negative image is formed about a country, it becomes difficult to attract other foreign investors because of the perceived difficulties in doing business. The Doing Business annual report therefore serves as a good guide to foreign investors in making up their minds on investing in the country or not.

Ruined Investors, Retarded Development

On the other hand, delays in processing investors’ papers for setting up business means the loss of revenue that would have been earned if things had gone on normally. “Time is money,” so goes the saying. While Cameroonian workers are generally not pressed by time, elsewhere, this means much.

Other multiplier effects on the country as a result of negative attitude to work by nationals include slowed down development, loss of potential State income, rising unemployment and stagnation in development. At the end, it all comes down to the fact that Cameroonian workers only help in destroying their nation and inevitably themselves by their unproductive attitude to the work for which they are duly paid.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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