On October 23, 2010, Kah Walla officially announced her candidacy for the presidential election of 2011. After an extremely impressive entry into national politics in 2007, Kah Walla is today recognized as one of Cameroon's foremost political leaders and certainly the most remarkable leader of her generation on the political scene.
Who is Kah Walla? What is her background? What is the alternative vision she proposes for the future of Cameroon? What solutions can she bring to current challenges and issues faced by the country?
At 45, this African entrepreneur is internationally recognized for her expertise in management, her
understanding of development issues and her strong stance on Africa, its women and youths.
She was recognized in 2008 by the World Bank as one of 7 women entrepreneurs in Africa working on
business environment reform.
Over the past 15 years, Kah Walla has succeeded in developing an African firm which offers consulting services in leadership and management, respecting the highest norms and standards in the international market. STRATEGIES! offers services to multinational firms such as Standard Chartered Bank, Shell, and ExxonMobil, as well as development organizations such as The Pan African Parliament, NEPAD, the World Bank, the United Nations and the German Development Cooperation.
Have Kah Walla's political choices been oriented by her professional profile?
Whether it is economic strategy, decentralization, business environment reforms, the inclusion of young people and women in policy design and implementation, the creation of jobs, or the leadership of Cameroon in the Central Africa sub-region; solutions proposed by Kah Walla are clearly inspired by her 25 years of experience in these areas, her worldwide network on issues of development and her fieldwork at local and national levels.
Social entrepreneur & Advocate
Grassroots, Grassroots, Grassroots! This is Kah Walla's favorite word. Meet with grassroots, listen to grassroots, identify interests of grassroots, focus strategies and policies on needs of grassroots. And she is doing it. For over 20 years, Kah Walla has worked with the actresses and actors of civil society in Cameroon and Africa at the micro, meso and macro levels.
Support to a network of over 14,000 potato producers and traders, to motorbike drivers, to persons with disabilities, to fishermen, to students associations; entrepreneurship training for youths and women in the Babimbi Division, in Maroua, Soa and Kumbo. That is how she translates her vision of a "Cameroon governed for and with the people."
To help the grassroots organize to defend its interests and have a voice in defining and implementing policies at the national level, Kah Walla created Cameroon Ô'Bosso, a citizenship movement whose 11 demands for electoral reform in Cameroon and call for the massive registration of voters on electoral lists are at the heart of political debate. www.cameroonobosso.net
Kah is also a strong advocate for business environment reform in Cameroon. In 2007 as Vice President of the American Business Association (today American Chamber of Commerce) she carried out an advocacy initiative for the improvement of the business environment in Cameroon bringing together business leaders to address their specific concerns to government in this domain.
September 22, 2009 she was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for work carried with over 500 market women in Cameroon's economic capital, Douala in order to reinforce their capacity in entrepreneurship and build their capacity to defend their rights as economic actors. This project is being used today at international level as a pilot for sector reform in this area.
A long-standing commitment
Returning to Cameroon during the politically hot years of the re-introduction of multiple parties, Kah Walla immediately sided with those working for change. In 1990 she joined a civil society group that supported the candidacy of John Fru Ndi for the Presidency of the Republic and rapidly became one of the persons who advised and trained leaders of the Social Democratic Front (SDF). This support continued until her entry into the party in March 2007.
A new expression
Coming into the SDF, Kah Walla brought to Cameroon's largest opposition party, a breath of fresh energy. A strategic and systemic approach to politics with the introduction of new technologies, marketing strategies, professional communication, systematic analysis of political issues and stakes, national think tanks and international experts. She provoked a mini-revolution in methods and approaches.
On the basis of this work, in 2009, the National Executive Committee of the SDF entrusted her with the sensitive portfolio of President of the Strategic Commission of the party. She initiated a set of structural reforms. In October 2010, following a divergence over strategy Kah Walla resigned from SDF
After her election in July 2007 to municipal council of the 1st District of Douala, economic capital of Cameroon, Kah Walla was one of the few local elected officials who regularly engaged the Mayor on issues of transparency and budget management.
Amongst other stands, Kah Walla took a clear position in 2008 against the constitutional amendment in favor of the non-limitation of presidential terms of office. Since 2009, she has provided criticism, but also concrete suggestions for repairing the legitimacy and technical ability of the independent electoral commission.
What She Reads
Although she is a strong believer in the capacity of African expertise to provide homegrown solutions to African problems, Kah regularly seeks to learn from great minds of all cultures. Thus, politicians like Lee Kwan Yu and Thomas Sankara, share the same bookshelf with authors like Alice Walker, Mongo Beti and Chinua Achebe as she researches on how Africans can tap into their history and traditions to define solutions to issues facing them in this modern era.