Cameroon: Government to Build
Provincial Delegates of the Penitentiary Administration, Administrators of Central Prisons and other senior officials of the Penitentiary Administration, separated from Yaounde last 13 November, hopeful that the government would met the necessary conditions to ensure greater efficiency in the sector.
This was at the end of their first-ever meeting with officials of the central administration of the Ministry of Justice since the creation of Provincial Delegations of Penitentiary Administration in 2005.
The Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Amadou Ali presided over the opening and closing ceremonies of the meeting that took place on 12 and 13 November. After sharing ideas on different aspects of the Penitentiary Administration, the senior officials made a series of recommendations to the government. Concerning the National School for the training of Penitentiary staff (ENAP) in Buea, the officials called on government to equip the institution with modern teaching material, infrastructure, library and a computer unit. For the prison services to succeed in its daunting missions, the officials requested the government to provide adequate infrastructure in prisons and delegations, recruit and build the capacities of staff, increase the budget allocated to prisons especially in relation to feeding of prisoners, and change the status of staff.
Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali, in his concluding statement, said the recommendations of the meeting could be taken as the road map of the Penitentiary Administration for the coming three years pending the approval of higher authorities. What the senior prison officials took back to their various areas of command is the efforts the government is making to meet the pressing needs. During the opening ceremony of the meeting, Amadou Ali said that six new prisons would be constructed in the coming three years. He also disclosed that 22 prisons will be rehabilitated and production activities would be financed in 60 prisons.
The officials also took back the message that eight vehicles for the transportation of prisoners would be acquired and 12 wells will be drilled in prisons where water is a major problem. The staff of the Penitentiary Administration also expect the imminent improvement of their status. This is because the Vice Prime Minister revealed that the draft was being finalised for onward transmission to