Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Vote Buying or Respecting ‘Culture’? Cameroonian Politicians’ Contending Interpretations of Campaign Donations

Teke Ngomba

Full Text: PDF



Arguably, one of the most prominent features of political election campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa is the distribution of money and or other material things from politicians to the electorate. Often seen as a form of vote buying, scholars have usually framed the distribution of these things as clear manifestations of the neo-patrimonial political culture so prevalent across the continent. While this study aligns itself along some of the central contentions in these discourses, it nonetheless furthers the discussion by examining the different ways in which Cameroonian politicians frame the money and or the material things they give to the electorate and traditional rulers. The study concludes by suggesting that these campaignera financial and material donations can be approached heuristically, through the concept of ‘politics na njangi’.

Keywords: Cameroon – election campaigns – political culture – neo-patrimonialism – political parties – sub-Saharan Africa