wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07YAOUNDE124
2007-01-30 09:35:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Yaounde
Cable title:  

CAMEROON: 2005 CENSUS RESULTS DELAYED

Tags:   SOCI  PGOV  CM  NI 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2216
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHYD #0124/01 0300935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300935Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7230
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1249
RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 0102
RUEHBZ/AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE 0020
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0879
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 1421
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1488
RUEHMA/AMEMBASSY MALABO 0158
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 1387
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1738
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 0381
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 YAOUNDE 000124 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/C
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA ACTION OFFICERS
EUCOM FOR J5-A AFRICA DIVISION AND POLAD YATES
USDOC FOR BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, OFFICE OF AFRICA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI PGOV CM NI
SUBJECT: CAMEROON: 2005 CENSUS RESULTS DELAYED

REF: A. 05 CAMEROON 2101

B. ABUJA 44

YAOUNDE 00000124 001.2 OF 002


-------
Summary
-------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 YAOUNDE 000124

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/C
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA ACTION OFFICERS
EUCOM FOR J5-A AFRICA DIVISION AND POLAD YATES
USDOC FOR BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, OFFICE OF AFRICA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI PGOV CM NI
SUBJECT: CAMEROON: 2005 CENSUS RESULTS DELAYED

REF: A. 05 CAMEROON 2101

B. ABUJA 44

YAOUNDE 00000124 001.2 OF 002


--------------
Summary
--------------


1. (U) Results from Cameroon's third General Population and
Housing census, launched November 11, 2005, will be delayed
until at least August 2007. The Government claims it lacks
the funds to publish the report, whose results were promised
by July 2006. The late publication of the results, whether
from bureaucratic difficulties or lack of political will,
will affect the 2007 legislative elections as the certain
substantial population increase would warrant more seats in
Parliament. End Summary.

--------------
How many people and
where do they live?
--------------


2. (U) To much fanfare in November 2005, the Government of
Cameroon (GRC) launched the third General Population and
Housing census, the first to be held in almost 20 years (Ref
A). Normally the census should be held every 10 years, but
lack of funds prevented this. The 2005 census had been
ordered by presidential decree in September 2001. When the
census was announced, rough results were promised within a
few months, and the full statistical analysis within 8-12
months.


3. (U) An accurate picture of Cameroon's population is badly
needed. The last official population figure is 16 million.
Conservative estimates place it at 17.3; others believe there
could be as many as 18-20 million people living in Cameroon.
Census counters in fall 2005 encountered some difficulties in
reaching remote villages and some resistance to answering
questions from people who did not understand the process.
The counting time was extended and though there were reports
that some people never spoke to a census taker, the exercise
was probably conducted as well as could be hoped for given
the operating environment.

--------------
Survey Says?
--------------


4. (U) The lack of rough or final results went largely
unremarked when target deadlines were missed in 2006.
Cameroon is notoriously slow in publishing official reports,
so delays in the census did not raise any eyebrows. (Note:
The National Elections Observatory's report on the 2004
presidential elections was only published in late 2006. End
Note.) The independent newspaper Le Messager published a
small item January 19 reporting that the census results would
not be available until August 2007, and citing "informed
sources" who blamed funding delays at various stages of the
operation for the overall delay. According to Le Messager,
the GRC is supposed to release 960 million CFA (about USD 1.9
million) to accelerate work.

--------------
Comment
--------------


5. (SBU) When the census was launched, the GRC stressed its
importance for properly implementing the Poverty Reduction
Strategy and the National Good Governance program. Of
course, knowing the size and distribution of the population
is also important with respect to elections, and Cameroon is
slated to hold legislative and municipal elections in summer

2007. Despite the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic
Movement's (CPDM) firm control of the legislature, there are

YAOUNDE 00000124 002.2 OF 002


indications that senior officials fear the CPDM's position is
more tenuous than it appears. If census results indicate
that the number of seats in parliament must be increased, the
opposition could have a relatively easy shot at the new
seats. This would not likely result in a power shift in
parliament, but could give opposition parties and candidates
a better standing to contest the presidency in 2011.


6. (SBU) While funding delays could very well be a problem
in publishing the census results, softening political will is
probably also a factor. It is lost on no one that
neighboring Nigeria managed to count its population of 140
million and to analyze and publish the results in the time
since counting in Cameroon concluded (Ref. B). End Comment.
MARQUARDT