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Of Biya Laptop Offers and Hard Questions




Cameroonians have reacted negatively to the news that President Biya will be offering laptops to University students. These reactions only go to add more fuel to the ardent hatred Cameroonians have for Paul Biya. In fact, it seems they want him gone as soon as now. This is true because as far back as 2001 when news broke of Paul Biya’s death, Cameroonians from across the territory jubilated publicly. The offering of laptops to University Students caught the attention of Cameroonian analyst in the UK, Mr. Callistus who wrote series of hard questions. He wrote to BaretaNews, hear him:
“..Offering free laptop to all students is a good gesture. There is no doubt in my mind that this gesture is extremely political ( the, therefore, the election is around the corner). Let’s assume that there are 500000 university students in Cameroon as reported by this article. Let’s also assume that a single laptop cost somewhere in the region of fcfa 100,000, therefore, implies that Biya would be spending circa fcfa on this project.

Question 1: from where did Biya get this money?

Question 2) Was this fcfa allocated in the national annual budget?

Question 3) What’s the quality of the laptop and what exactly is the average life span of the laptops?

Question 4) why is he offering these laptops only at this moment in time?

Question 5) Are there no other better alternatives or options other than free laptops for all students that the Biya’s regime could have exploited in improving students’ performance?

Question 6) How secured are these laptops? Are we sure these laptops are not coded or placed with devices to track down certain information or monitor students’ activities?

Question 7) And this is the most important. Couldn’t Biya have invested fcfa to improve the general state of Cameroon Internet service that would have benefitted 22 million Cameroonians rather than 500.000 students?

If I were hired as a Consultant to advise Biya on what to spend fcfa on, I would have strongly recommended that Biya uses the money to improve Internet service in Cameroon. Cameroon has the Internet but I learnt it’s not broadband. Internet connection in Cameroon is so slow. Certain areas are not accessible. If Biya would follow this approach, then not just all students will benefit, but the entire nation.


What is the essence of providing 500.000 students with laptops when they cannot actually make maximum or adequate use of the laptop?

It’s like providing all ministers with Ferrari when there are no proper roads to drive on with the Ferrari.

You are proud of having a Ferrari but you cannot actually enjoy the benefits (speed driving on good motorway) that go with it. While it is true that laptops are not only needed for online research, it’s widely believed that over 80% of students would require online service for their if they are provided with online facilities…..Mr. Callistus concluded.

The questions posed by Mr. Callistus are worth pondering and BaretaNews agrees with his analysis. However, like earlier said, BaretaNews argues that this is a direct political move and not some form of “love” from the President to the citizens. It is a direct political move from a politician who is looking ahead of 2018 Presidential elections. Would this move change the minds of Cameroonians in the forthcoming Presidential elections ? This is still left to be seen. However, though we cannot rely on the election body, ELECAM, Cameroonians should do a conscience vote.

God is still saying something.

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