Fiscal Decentralization and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Literature Survey and Perspectives for Future Research in Cameroon

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Ndamsa D. Thomas
Mbiydzenyuy Courage Sevidzem
Tangwa M. Wiykiynyuy


Much literature exists on fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations in sub-Saharan Africa, and some of the very salient policy actions that have impacted local government development have emerged from such literature. The developing world, including sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has markedly promoted fiscal decentralization in the last three decades. However, many important aspects of fiscal decentralization in SSA and Cameroon, in particular, have not been addressed by existing literature. The main objective of this review paper is, therefore, to identify the literature gaps and design an agenda for future research in the areas of fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations that has the potential to impact policy and spur development in Cameroon. A qualitative research methodology (content analysis) is used to gather, group, and offer a critical look at existing literature on the benefits of fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations in sub-Saharan Africa. It uses an integrative review and a standardized approach of abstracting appropriate information from each article and performing an appropriate analysis of the literature survey of a few decentralized countries in SSA as the population focused on in the primary studies. This review paper recommends that areas for further research on FD in Cameroon should include: Types of funding autonomy desired by local government councils in Cameroon; Revenue sharing formulas that are good for Cameroon’s economic development; How central government transfers enhance local revenue mobilization in councils which share the same political affiliation as the ruling party compared to those who do not. Studies that point to new ways of generating supplementary financing at the local level in Cameroon to match the increased responsibilities due to decentralization are still rare. The percentage of shares of central government revenue transfers to local communities is necessary to reduce poverty and inequality, and what agency and criteria should be put in place to control the execution of these transfers? The above recommendations of this review paper will greatly inform theory, policy, and practice on fiscal decentralization realities in SSA as a whole and Cameroon in particular.


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Ndamsa D. Thomas, Mbiydzenyuy Courage Sevidzem, & Tangwa M. Wiykiynyuy. (2022). Fiscal Decentralization and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Literature Survey and Perspectives for Future Research in Cameroon. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 3(2), 166-193.
Author Biographies

Ndamsa D. Thomas, University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Dr. Ndamsa Dickson Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Economics. He is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher and currently heads the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, The University of Bamenda.  Ndamsa has taken part and presented papers in Development Economics at a number of international events and has published scientific research articles and book articles in peer review journals such as Revue d’Economie Appliquée, EuroEconomica, African Integration and Development Review, Journal of Entrepreneurship: Research & Practice, Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, Journal of Energy and Development, etc. He is a Consultant at CPAC on issues of Regional Sustainable Development Programs.

Mbiydzenyuy Courage Sevidzem

Dr. Mbiydzenyuy Courage Sevidzem is a female Cameroonian. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science with a Specialty of Public Administration. She is currently a full-time researcher at the LoRDA Research Center and a Part-Time Lecturer at the University of Bamenda and Catholic University (CATUC Bamenda). She is well grounded in Decentralization and Quantitative Political Data research. She is the author of the book “Public Policy implementation and Decentralization in Cameroon” Published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. She has also authored the article “ICT for the Enhancement of Service Delivery in Municipalities in Cameroon” published in The International Journal Series on Tropical Issues, Volume 21.

Tangwa M. Wiykiynyuy, University of Yaounde II, Cameroon

Dr. Tangwa Mark Wiykiynyuy is a Ph.D. holder that he obtained at the University of Yaoundé II Cameroon in 2018 in Development Economics precisely in Quantitative Technics. He is currently an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Yaoundé II Soa and a researcher in CEWDS-CAM (Centre of Equity and Wellbeing-Developments-Cameroon) and LAREM (Laboratoire D'analyses Et De Recherche En Economie Et Modélisation) research laboratories. He is a consultant at SYFE consulting group.  He has successfully produced and published articles in the related field.


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