Modernization without development in Africa: patterns of change and continuity in post-independence Cameroonian public service

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Africa World Press, 1997 - History - 366 pages
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Drawing on primary, secondary, and contemporary sources to analyze the role of the public service in the process of nation building in post-colonial Africa, this book addresses the problem of human resources administration in the continent, using the Cameroonian public service as a classic case study.

How did an African bureaucracy schooled in two European traditions, (British and French) develop techniques to jointly operate a single government?. The wealth of detail in this study generates historic, political and economic interest by revealing what caused the initial success of this unique circumstance merging two distinct colonial administrative systems without jeopardizing the national polity. Focusing on crucial aspects of the evolution of African nations, the study also presents a sustained and systematic comparison of the bureaucratic systems of the anglophone and francophone regions of Cameroon.

Fonge explains why public service employment increased at all levels, yet public service performance continued to dwindle and decline until the service was afflicted by a sort of bureaucratic elephantiasis -- becoming a huge useless "big foot", a pain to the nation. This affected the service itself and continued to foster the process of dependent modernization. Consequently, from being a French property, Cameroon was merely promoted to the dubious dignity of beggar at its former colonizer's gate and, as everyone knows, beggars never have the liberty to choose.

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Contextual Historical Backgrounds
Basic Components of the PostIndependence Revised

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