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Les élites du Développement Economique Local : Cas de Foumban au Cameroun

Abstract : In subsaharan Africa (SSA) the local elite is the key player of local economic emergence. The elite of LED must lead to the valorisation of territorial ressources, to the setting-up of the rules of the game, to the creation of local firms and local players. The existence of local elite is therefore a success factor of LED.In this thesis, we have investigated the functions, the capacities and the behaviours, opinions and practices of the various members of the local elite of LED. We have conducted a qualitative research with the case study in Foumban, Cameroon. Our methodology was organised in three main steps: development of a concept and of identification criterias of the elite of LED; identification of this elite in Foumban; face-to-face interviews with the elite.As we explain in this thesis, LED in SSA is a process that requires a variety of local elite who build the capacities of territories through its actions and interactions. The elite of LED is made by individuals, pursuing their own interests, and using their powers. They are doing an institutional work and they are changing the rules of the game intentionally or not. They are not the official players, but only those functional players able to unlock the territorial potential through two main actions: the activation, that aims at mobilizing stakeholders and the expertise, that aims at imagining solutions to generate the territorial ressources.In Foumban, we have observed that the elite of LED we identified is conducting concrete actions and in doing so relies on capacities to implemt its LED functions. We also have noticed strong differences among the opinions of the elite of LED, for example about the issue of the impact of communities on development, about the territory as a container or a recipient of resources, or about bottom-up vs. top-down LED approach.Unlike the Western approach of LED promoting the cooperation between the main stakeholders, we have highlighted that in a context of development and transition, the transformation of local level into a productive territory needs the intervention of a “biodiversity” of local elite in competition. Its multiple confrontations and difficult negotiations enable the creation, the change and the selection of performing institutions. The local elite of LED is debating about the future : all ideas can be expressed and are negotiable until a stable situation has been reached.In Foumban, we also have identified a consensus within the elite on a key issue: the importance of the Very Small Firms for local development. This consensus shows that behind differences and competitions, the local elite shares some values and that a certain collective awareness does exist about the winning strategy.
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Laure Frisa. Les élites du Développement Economique Local : Cas de Foumban au Cameroun. Gestion et management. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLV062⟩. ⟨tel-02364992⟩

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