Sunday, 26 June 2016
Memorandum to the Prime Minister
We forward herewith, the Memorandum written by Anglophone Teacher Trade Unions to the PM, calling on him to restrain Minister J. Fame Ndongo who is determined to wipe out Anglophones and their educational system.
• Denounce appointment driven anglophone pseudo-intellectuals who continue to defend the ongoing harmonization;
• Say the Minister lied about the way the harmonization is going;
• Denounce marginalization of Anglophone children in professional schools in English-speaking universities;
• Say Anglophone children are the victims of a corruption racket at the MINESUP;
• Say plan to destroy the Anglophone educational system was concocted a long time ago;
• Warn that Fame Ndong should be held responsible when Anglophones go on the streets;
The Prime Minister and Head of Government,
BAREFACED ATTEMPTS BY THE MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO
ALIENATE ANGLOPHONES IN CAMEROON
At our regular consultative meeting in the month of June 2016, it became necessary to reflect on the situation of higher education in Cameroon and particularly the myriad of changes that have gone on under the helmsmanship of Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo. From the façade, these changes give the impression that higher education in Cameroon is being modernized, but in the course of our consultations with stakeholders, we have unraveled a sinister plot that has been concocted by this same Minister to rid Anglophones in Cameroon of the meager chances they ever had to get jobs after school, or enjoy their identity. Using the policy instruments of the State, this Minister, in a typically “racist” and xenophobic fashion, has gradually and surreptitiously harmonized Higher Education in Cameroon, creating such nuances as ‘it is harmonization, not uniformization’. From the recruitment of lecturers to the admission of students into professional schools and more recently, trying to create a uniform template for academic programmes, one sees the same sinister motive – the hidden grand design to alienate Anglophones in Cameroon.
In this memorandum, we illustrate the extent to which this wicked plan has been hatched, and call on your good office to do everything within your power to stop the “raw deal” Anglophones have been served up till now.
Admission of Students into Professional Schools
One of the areas where Anglophone parents feel the most aggrieved is the admission of their children into professional schools. Teachers too feel that all their effort is wasted because their students never really have a foothold they can boast of.
Many years ago, the Cameroon GCE was the measure by which intelligent students were rated and it served as an independent, unbiased selection device. This means that for any admission or selection, students with the highest points in the GCE A/Levels qualified according to their performance. It applied in scholarship programmes and eventually in the scoring of candidates applying for admission into the University of Buea. Although regional balance was often mentioned, it was never to the detriment of meritorious students.
Of recent, the Ministry of Higher Education (MINESUP) has jettisoned the concept of excellence in favour of a more mediocre unnamed concept which has given rise to fearless corruption and injustice. The situation is even more critical because even in universities that were created to diversify our educational system and reduce the extent of Anglophone marginalization in State Universities, Anglophones have become an endangered species under the watchful eye of Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo.
We would like to recall that the Universities of Buea and Bamenda were created by Presidential Decrees specifying that their character is Anglo-Saxon; a tacit recognition, by the Head of State, that Cameroon is made up of French-speaking and English-speaking peoples. This reality is enshrined in the fundamental law of the land. But what this Minister and his collaborators at the MINESUP have done is – flout the Presidential Decrees and install a cabal that is out to humiliate, alienate and discriminate against Anglophones. He is even quoted as saying that ‘if he had been consulted, the University of Buea would not have been Anglo-Saxon’. In the bid to render ineffectual the attempt by the President to bring higher education closer to Anglophones, he has systematically undertaken to marginalize them in the admission of students into professional schools in the Universities of Buea and Bamenda. This move is also in line with the design by the MINESUP to devalue the Cameroon GCE and the Anglophone sub-system of education. A look at the admissions into some professional schools will attest to this fact:
a.The present Level 200 class of medical students at the University of Buea has only about 12 Anglophones out of 80 students;
b. In the first general admission into Faculties of Medicine, one cannot count up to 50 Anglophones of North West and South West extraction.
c. In the Higher Technical Teachers’ Training College Kumba (University of Buea) and Bamenda, about 90% of the students in the industrial traits (building, electricity, etc) are Francophone;
d. In the Higher Teachers’ Training College (ENS), and other professional schools in the University of Bamenda, Anglophones are only an infinitesimal segment.
Although these institutions were created to enhance human resource development among English-speaking Cameroonians, there seems to a manifest determination by some individuals to use these same institutions to disenfranchise, alienate, abuse and keep Anglophones permanently in oblivion. Even students who perform exceptionally well in the GCE A/Levels are no longer given any special consideration. As a result, many have been exiled to look for greener pastures out of the country, when they would certainly have liked to study at home.
Your Excellency, it may be interesting to know how the machinery of the MINESUP works. It is well tailored and organized, and seemingly, logical explanations are given to justify each step that is designed to vitiate or debase Anglophones.
How the marginalization machinery in competitive entrance examinations works
Under the guise of control or oversight, the MINESUP ensures that it vets all lists of students declared successful in competitive entrance examinations into professional schools. For the most part, the lists are mutilated because those involved in the organization of examinations and compilation process attest that the names sent to the MINESUP are never the same names which come back. It is believed, and justifiably so, that at the MINESUP, the lists are “doctored” by a ring of corrupt individuals who extort huge bribes from parents who can afford. Those who know the networks find their way and easily put their children’s names on the list. The pretext for marginalizing Anglophones is usually regional balance; yet everyone knows from the composition of those lists that it is the highest bidder who gets his name on the lists. The case of the University of Buea where the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor lost his post because he published the list of meritorious candidates which turned out to be at variance with the Minister’s list is a case in point. It is also common knowledge that some parents pay over three million Francs to have their children’s names on that list, and some children even boast about it.
It becomes obvious that competitive examinations are just a means of raising money through stamp duty and to swell some individuals’ pockets. Otherwise, how does one explain why the selection process is shrouded with such opacity only to the detriment of Anglophones? Most of these students who come in are tabula rasa in English. Although the decrees specify that the proficiency of Francophone students seeking admission into these professional schools be certified, they are never required to take an English language proficiency course. More than any Minister of Higher Education, this one perpetrates injustice, discrimination and the marginalization of Anglophones.
The Recentralization of Admission into Medical Schools
Formerly, the University of Buea used to select its candidates based on merit. At least, even if there was regional balance, the scoring of certificates always made it possible for students who performed distinctly in the GCE A/Levels to have a chance of admission if they performed well in the entrance examination.
In the last two years, the MINESUP has recentralized the process of selecting students into medical schools. All students write a common entrance examination set in French and poorly translated into English. Anglophone students must write whether they can understand the questions or not. Some complain that when they pass, they are sent to French-speaking universities they did not choose, in towns where life can be very challenging. Some give up their chances because of the cost of living in those towns. Generally, the few Anglophones who are selected are sent to private medical institutions where they pay exorbitant fees while Francophones take over their places in Buea and Bamenda.
We think that our children have been sufficiently traumatized by the system put in place at the MINESUP. It is time to allow English-speaking universities to set their entrance examinations, not manipulate and exclude them from professional training as the case is now.
Harmonization or Uniformization of University Programmes
All over the world, universities have their specificities; they run programmes which are comparable. The reason why universities can never be the same is simple – although they engender universality, they are agencies for cultural transmission. In a bi-cultural country like Cameroon, it is appalling that the MINESUP will carry out studies in the bid to harmonize by only visiting Francophone countries like Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire, while flying over Nigeria and Ghana or forgetting South Africa.
It may be interesting to note that the much talked about BMP system is not new to the Universities of Buea and Bamenda which have a credit value system, unlike other universities which pretend to practice the BMP while doing the contrary. An impartial investigation will reveal that what many other State Universities practice is not BMP although huge sums of money have been spent to make it look or sound like BMP. To destroy the actual BMP, a harmonization of programmes was organized after the Minister and his men with the complicity of some Anglophone appointment-driven, pseudo-intellectuals. They concocted a plan to uniformize academic programmes in State Universities under the pretext of permitting students to transfer from one university to another. At a time when universities should be competing to offer diverse programmes that can address our numerous social and economic challenges, it is strange and suspicious that Professor Fame Ndongo should deploy so much of our scarce resources to discuss how students can transfer from one university to another.
We are weary of the manipulations of this Minister and think that he has insulted Anglophones in Cameroon too often and used big words to explain it away. Even as he frantically denied harmonizing or standardizing programmes a few days ago, there is evidence that programmes in the Faculties of Agriculture and Medicine have already been harmonized across the board. We are also aware that Political Science programmes have been harmonized. The Minister has stubbornly gone ahead with this harmonization without regard for the specificity of Anglophones. We believe that Minister Fame Ndongo has declared war on Anglophones in Cameroon and it is important for Government to hold him responsible for any unrest this will ultimately cause.
Recruitment of teachers who are not proficient in English
In 2011, when the Head of State decided to recruit 25,000 young Cameroonians, the MINESUP saw it again as an opportunity to flout the Decree creating the Universities of Buea and Bamenda. Out of about 1000 lecturers recruited by the MINESUP, less than 100 were Anglophone. Proof is that the Anglophone universities were flooded with French-speaking young Cameroonians who could not speak a word of English and no arrangements were made to upgrade their proficiency. They never went through the regular unbiased interview process put in place in Buea and Bamenda universities to verify their quality and specialty. Up to this day, there are many lecturers in the University of Buea recruited at that time, who have never taught a single lesson because they have refused to learn English and their quality is doubtful. In the University of Bamenda, most of them teach in approximate English. Students either laugh because it is all fun or the teachers simply switch to French when they can no longer sustain the stalemate. The fact that the MINESUP flooded the English-speaking universities with people who cannot speak English does not mean that there were no qualified Anglophones. The reason is that Anglophones don’t matter to Minister Fame Ndongo’s “racist” disposition, and so our subsystem of education can be plundered and our children rendered useless.
As teachers and parents, we cannot continue to watch how our standards are watered down by an insensitive Minister who delights in such provocative remarks as “Any Cameroonian can work anywhere”, without regard to their profile; in flagrant disregard for the decrees which created the English-speaking universities.
Gov’t imposes obnoxious Penal Code on the citizens
Rejected outright by the Cameroon Bar Council and condemned without reserve by opposition parties and the wider public, the bill revising and supplementing the 1965 Penal Code was Wednesday voted without qualms by parliament.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
|Minister of Justice, Esso Laurent|
In what can be interpreted as calling the bluff of the Cameroon Bar Council, MPs of the ruling CPDM party on Wednesday 22 June 2016 voted the bill containing the revised and supplemented Cameroon Penal Code.
The new penal code was voted in a plenary session presided over by the Speaker of the national assembly, CavayeYeguieDjibril.
The majority CPDM MPs voted the bill even as their colleagues of the opposition had staged a walk out of the parliament hemicycle.
The opposition MPs protested against the adoption of the bill which they described as obnoxious and hurriedly drafted.
SDF MPs said some portions of the bill needed to be deleted notably the section granting judicial immunity to government ministers. They argued that ministers, unlike MPs and the President of the Republic, are not elected by the people of Cameroon; they are only appointed by the president of the republic who uses his exorbitant discretionary powers to do so.
Because ministers are appointed and not elected they are not answerable to the people but to the person that appointed them, the opposition MPs argued, further expressing fears that judicial immunity will only give the ministers latitude and the lee-way to stealing from and plundering the public till, as most of them are wont to do.
The protest by the SDF MPs only served to reinforce and supplement that of the Cameroon Bar Council that had earlier called for a withdrawal outright of the bill from parliament to enable for a re-reading to be done on it by all stakeholders concerned with the execution of the law in Cameroon.
Meeting for an emergency conclave in Yaounde, the Bar Council issued a strongly-worded communiqué condemning the bill and calling for its immediate withdrawal from parliament. The president of the Bar and some of his collaborators also later met with the Speaker of the NA to explain their grievances to him.
The NgolleNgolle - NgoleNgwese reconciliation that never was
A local newspaper report claimed that there has been a détente in the strained relations between the rival brothers from KupeMuanenguba division, Prof. NgolleNgolle Elvis and NhonNgole Philip Ngwese. But after investigations by The Median, it emerged that no such reconciliation was ever initiated by whosoever. The rapport between the two political heavyweights is still tenuous at best and icy at worst.
By MakwensBalemba in Yaounde
NgolleNgwese&NgolleNgolle have always kept
a safe distance in public events
“Reconciliation between two parties who have lived apart for long as enemies can only be done through the good office of a third party or if one of the parties is humble enough to walk up to the other and seek reconciliation. None of these has happened between NgolleNgolle and Ngole Philip. So, the claim that there has been a kind of reconciliation between the two personalities is only a fabrication intended to misinform and intoxicate the public perhaps, for some selfish interest.” This was the response we got from an unimpeachable source close to Minister Ngole Philip when we sought to know from him if the reconciliation story published recently in a local tabloid was true.
Besides, the source argued that reconciliation is not done in the columns of newspapers but on the negotiating table. “Only a coward or somebody who is not sincere about his intentions to reconcile will go to the newspapers to preach reconciliation, instead of inviting the other party or parties to a negotiating table,” the source concluded, suggesting that Prof. Elvis NgolleNgolle should invite his ‘junior brothers’ to an appropriate forum where they can talk out their differences rather that go to the newspapers to preach reconciliation.
Unfortunately, The Median learned that Prof. NgolleNgolle has vowed that he can never pick up his telephone to call any of the two ministers from KupeMuanenguba, for whatever purpose.
Until such a move is initiated by the learned Prof. or any of the two ministers, the rapport between NgolleNgolle and Ngole Philip will only remain tenuous at best and icy at worse.
Okie Johnson installed as NW charge de mission
-Okie Johnson Ndoh from Nguti subdivision in KupeMuanenguba Division of the South West region was on Wednesday installed as charge de mission of the NW regional delegation of the CPDM party. Paradoxically, Okie’s native Nguti subdivision has no representative in either the SW regional delegation or the KupeMuanenguba divisional delegation.
By Ojong Steven Ayukogem in Yaounde
Okie Johnson Ndoh: Will he cope
working as a stranger in the NW
At first it was believed to be an error that would be immediately corrected. But following the installation of the regional and divisional delegations of the North West by CPDM Scribe, Jean Kuete, last Wednesday, it is now understood that Okie Johnson Ndoh will serve as charge de mission of the NW permanent regional delegation until President Biya signs another decision replacing him with an indegene of the North West region.
Intriguingly, senior public administrator and state inspector will be serving the CPDM in the North West region even as his native Nguti subdivision in the South West has been completely left out in the appointments of regional and divisional delegates of the region.
Analysts note that this is a cause for real frustration and bitterness for the Nguti people, who have not missed any opportunity to complain about the suppression, humiliation and marginalization they are subjected to, in a Bakossi-dominated KupeMuanenguba division.
It should be pointed out that ever since KupeMuanenguba division was carved out in 1993 there is no road linking Nguti either to the divisional headquarters Bangem or the metropolitan town of Tombel. This situation makes it such that whenever KupeMuanenguba division is mentioned any where, what first comes to mind is that it is the land of the Bakossi people. And this only leaves the Nguti people more frustrated and emasculated.
The frustration of the Nguti people is all the more because in the distribution of political positions among the 58 divisions in the country, Yaounde has always given all the lucrative positions meant for KupeMuanenguba division to the majority Bakossi people. The two ministers from KupeMuanenguba, Ngole Philip Ngwese and Elung Paul are both of Bakossi extraction; the Senator Mrs. NtubeNjock is Bakossi; the Coordinator of the CPDM Academy, Prof. Elvis NgolleNgolle is Bakossi, the CPDM politbureau member who doubles as board chair of Sonara, Hon. John EbongNgole is Bakossi, and you can name them on end.
That is why when president Biya’s decision appointing CPDM permanent delegates was published, informed observers of KupeMuanenguba politics said it was no surprise that Nguti was again completely forgotten.
The observers wondered if Okie Johnson Ndoh, Hon. Clara Eyabi (the MP for Nguti), Mrs. Sally Vega (the alternate senator), Dr. AtemEbako, Solomon Tatah and many others are not qualified to be in the regional or divisional delegations in the SW.
Jean Kuete shown the red card in Bamenda
By Ndjodzefe Nestor in Bamenda
|Jean Kuete installing NW regional delegates|
Section Presidents of the different sections of the CPDM in the North West region have been assured that permanent delegates of the party have not come to replace them or to undermine their roles.
Jean Kuete, CPDM Central Committee Secretary General made the assurance while installing the North West CPDM permanent delegates at the Bamenda Congress Hall.
After the towns of Maroua, Garoua, Ngaoundere, Bertoua, Ebolowa, Douala and Buea it was the turn of Bamenda on June 22, 2016.
The NW CPDM Regional Permanent delegation is headed by Prime Minister - Head of Government Philemon Yang with FonAneng Francis, Regina Mundi and Baba AhmadouDanpullo as members while Dr. NgwanaSama Bernard and Okie Johnson Ndohare the charges de mission.
The seven permanent divisional delegations of the CPDM for the NW are headed by Hon Nji Fidelis Muh-Ziah for Menchum, Shey Jones Yembe for Donga Mantung, WaingehNdim Albert for Boyo, Prof DanialLantum for Bui, AtangaNji Paul for Mezam and Prof. UphieChinjeMeloNgoketunjia
The divisional delegates were appointed by a decision of the national president of the CPDM, Paul Biya on 19 May 2016. The members of regional delegations were appointed way back in December 2015.
On the occasion, Jean Kuete called for solidarity among militants and said Bamenda as the baptismal city of the party is source of pride for all CPDM supporters.
The permanent representatives are expected to mobilize support, convert more militants and ensure the proper functioning of the party at the grassroots.
They newly commissioned delegates are also expected to improve the performance of the CPDM during different political elections.
Biya returns home looking hale & hearty
But this prolonged absence of the president from home has raised questions about his
physical and mental ability to continue to perform his duties as head of state of Cameroon
By Essan-EkoninyamEwube in Yaounde
|President Paul Biya|
on Saturday 25 June 2016 when president Paul Biya returned home he had made exactly 29 days away from his office at the presidency in Yaounde. When he left the country on 27 May 2016, the official announcement was that he was going on “a short private visit abroad”. No mention was made about where exactly the president was going and what he would be doing out there.
But after four complete weeks abroad, analysts are of the strong view that he overstayed his short private visit and should have long been on his way back home, whatever he must have been doing out there.
Even regime insiders were deeply disturbed by this prolonged stay abroad by the president. Without exception, the consensus view was that he is helplessly tired and has lost interest in his job as president of the republic of Cameroon.
This is all the more because during such prolonged absence abroad it is ussually not clear who assumes the interim. Because of this the country lacks real leadership. Not even the decisions that are often read on public radio as having been signed by the president give the impression that he is working whilst away.
The argument that analysts advance is that the President of Cameroon does not work abroad; he has his office at the Unity Palace in Yaounde, and not abroad.
NW Lawyers resort to street protests
|NW lawyers took to the streets on 23 June 2016|
Lawyers in the North West Region have vowed to take to the streets again to protest the adoption of the bill on the modification of the Cameroon Penal Code by the Senate.
Without any coordination and leadership, from neither the northwest lawyers association nor the Cameroon bar council, the lawyers on June 23, 2016 braved the rains and marched from the High Court premises Up Station to down town, passing through Sonac street to the Commercial Avenue and the Famous Liberty Square, City Chemist round about to protest against the adoption by the Parliament.
“We reject the manipulation of the constitution in Cameroon”, “lawyers reject any law/bill that projects the rich against the poor”, “We, lawyers reject any bill/law in Cameroon that incriminates landlords-tenant relationship/non-payment of rents” read some of the placards brandished by the lawyers.
On the scene to stop to protest was the DO for Bamenda 1 subdivision and the SDO for Mezam, Songa Pierre Rene who made fruitless efforts to talk the lawyers out of the protest. The presence of the forces of law and order did not also deter the lawyers from sending out their information.
A moto-taxi driver in Douala advertising the qualities
he seeksfrom a prospective "valentine"
Men who commit adultery could be sent to jail under a new law adopted by the parliament in Cameroon.
The law had the backing of President Paul Biya's CPDM party and was approved without qualms.
Women already face being jailed for between two to six months for having sexual relations outside marriage and men would now face the same punishment.
“Ratification of EPAs is a conscious choice made by Cameroon”
- Louis Paul MOTAZE, Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development
At the end of the 14th session of the Ministerial Committee for Negotiations of EPAs (COMINA) held in Douala last 17 June, the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, chairperson of the said Committee highlights the stakes of this meeting. In an exclusive interview granted to your newspaper, Louis Paul Motaze sheds light on the to-be carried out actions, expected outcomes as well as impacts on Cameroon’s economy.
Louis Paul MOTAZE
Mister Minister, after this Douala meeting, is the Central African region finally set to speak with one voice on the EPAs?
Central Africa is already speaking with one voice in the sense that all the countries agree that the sub-region should sign a common agreement with the European Union as part of these EPAs. And this is why the Ministerial Committee that has just been convened for its fourteenth session as you mentioned has been set up.
The purpose was to see how negotiations between the European Union and Central Africa could be moved forward as they were at a standstill.Our discussions were extremely technical because there were basically three issues to be examined.
As the leader of the sub-region, Cameroon assumed the responsibility of signing an interim agreement with the European Union which shall be effective next August 4th.The implementation of this interim agreement stands the chance of jeopardizing customs arrangements in the sub-region. This is why Central African States which were reluctant to sign any agreement have agreed to adhere to a process that should lead to a comprehensive agreement that will help safeguard the customs arrangements of the sub-region.
At the end of the meeting, participants reached the consensus that a draft agreement should be prepared on the basis of the agreement signed by Cameroon, supplemented and amended accordingly.This draft agreement shall be first validated by the ministers towards the end of this month of June in Libreville and then forwarded to His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Republic of Gabon who has been designated by his peers as the leader of negotiations.
According to the desire he expressed, this draft agreement will be submitted to some high European officials as the Central African proposal to the European Union, with the hope that negotiations will resume rapidly and be concluded by August 4, 2016, the effective date of the agreement signed with Cameroon, except otherwise provided.
What are the motivations behind the ratification of this Agreement by Cameroon?
Cameroon was resolved to initiate and sign an interim agreement with the European Union (EU) to avoid disruptions in its exports to the EU after 31 December 2007. In this respect, our country enjoyed unprecedented free access to the EU market, as from January 1st, 2008, for its export produce such as banana, aluminum, cocoa-processed produce, plywood, and other raw or processed agricultural produce. In concluding a bilateral agreement with the European Union, Cameroon wanted to preserve its commercial interests, without however losing sight of the negative exogenous shocks likely to weaken the competitiveness of its goods which the country must protect and address appropriately.
Thus, the ratification of the Interim Agreement by Cameroon has been made as part of an overall strategic approach that seeks to win new market shares in the world and above all preserve preferential access of its export goods to the European market, pending the conclusion of a full and balanced regional EPA.
As you are aware, although Cameroon is subject to the Common External Tariff owing to the fact that it belongs to the Central African sub-region, it has the most diversified economy.As a result, the country must expand market outlets for its goods. This option was chosen to enable Cameroon to continue enjoying commercial preferences that the country might have lost pursuant to the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).Unlike some other countries, Cameroon has products to sell. It was therefore imperative to preserve those outlets.
Besides, our country is safeguarding achievements made under regional integration, because Cameroon stands alongside the sub-region as part of ongoing negotiations in the Central African Zone. As a matter of fact, our country has totally funded studies (that the sub-region had to bear) on the calculation of the net fiscal impact of the entry into force of the EPAs, which is an evidence of its constant involvement in negotiations towards the conclusion of a regional agreement.
By Njodzefe Nestor
The 34 councils of mezam division in the North West Region have signed co-financing partnership with the National Community Driven Development Programme, known by its French acronym as PNDP to launch Phase III of its projects.
The signing ceremonies that started with Donga Mantung division on June 13 ended with Mezam on June 23, 2016 at the Bamenda II Council Hall.
The seven councils of Bamenda I, II and III, Bali, Bafut, Santa and Tubah accepted to abide to the terms of the partnership under the watchful eyes of the second Assistant SDO for Mezam and are expected to receive financial and technical expertise of PNDP.
Bamenda I, II and III Councils who are joining the PNDP family for the first time will be given FCFA 69 million with PNDP to support with FCFA 65 million while the councils will contribute FCFA 4 million.
For Bali, Bafut, Santa and Tubah councils, they are expected to benefit FCFA 20.2M, with FCFA 5.2 to come from councils themselves.
Speaking on behalf of the Mayors of Mezam, the Mayor of Bamenda II Council thanked PNDP for phase III of the project while assuring that the councils will ensure that the projects implemented within the frame work of the partnership are sustainable.
On behalf of the North West PNDP Coordinator, Ngoko Rene Bertrand thanked councils, communities and sector ministries for their collaboration during the second phase of the program while noting that phase III of the project can only succeed if they work hand in glove.
2nd Wouri bridge half way gone
Public Works minister, Emmanuel NganouDjoumessi visited the site one week ago
By Mercy Neba in Douala
Construction work on the second bridge over the Wouri River in Douala is advancing, to the satisfaction of the minster of Public Works, Emmanuel NganouDjoumessi. He was at the site on Monday, 20 June 2016 to have a first-hand experience of the progress of the infrastructural project.
What the minister realized, like other observers, is the fact that the physical advancement rate of the construction work is about 71.5% while the rate of physical advancement of access work comes up to 30% in the Deido section, as well as 28% and 32% in the Bonaberi area.
As for the rate of the physical advancement of the construction work on the viaduct, that is, the bridge proper, it is estimated at 81.44%. Here, the ongoing work has to do with the putting in place of the motorway, including the drainage systems and the traffic deviations on the boulevard.
Meantime work has come to a halt at the Bonaberi end, first because Camtel and the Electricity Development Corporation (EDC) are yet to displace their networks and second on account of the fact that the constructors are waiting for the bituminous concrete to be formed and validated.
Population protest exorbitant tuition fees
By NwoFuanya in Limbe
The population of Limbe has expressed concerns over the high tuition fees that students are expected to pay for training at the newly constructed Advanced Vocational Training Centre. This was on Tuesday June 21, 2016 when the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, ZachariePerevet visited the school to officially open its doors for admissions to begin.
During the event that took place on the school campus at Bonadikombo on the outskirts of Limbe, the Technical Adviser No 1 in the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, Comfort Fomede who did the technical presentation of the school disclosed that it was constructed and equipped at the sum of fcfa 21 billion.
Of this amount, she noted, the sum of fcfa 17 billion came from the Republic of South Korea. The government of Cameroon, for its part contributed the rest in the form of tax exemptions, land for construction and other support.
The school is expected to train Cameroonians of both sexes in different trades such as motor mechanics, electronics, wiring, welding, hotel and tourism management amongst others.
Candidates for admission are expected to be holders of CAP or PROBATOIRE or GCE O/L and Lower Sixth attestations in the relevant disciplines. Upon admission they will spend about a year in the school before graduating in the different income generating trades.
CAMYOSFOP advocates more gov’t implication
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
|CEO of CAMYOSFOP, Ngalim Eugene|
Senior government officials including Parliamentarians, representatives from government institutions, partner NGOs and the military have been called upon to hasten procedures aimed at halting the illicit circulation of arms within Cameroon and across the borders of countries of the Cemac sub-region. This was within the framework of a sensitization workshop organized by the Cameroon Youths Forum for Peace, CAMYOSFOP and other partners NGOs in Yaoundé.
The workshop had as objective to school senior government officials on the necessity of creating a national commission for the control and management of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Cameroon.
According to the organizers, the illicit proliferation of small arms in the sub region a major cause for the constant instability and civil wars that have plagued some Cemac states in recent years including notably the conflicts in the Central African Republic, the terrorist incursions in East Cameroon and the Boko Haram insurgency in North Cameroon.
To contain this prevailing danger, the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) has formulated guidelines for the establishment of national commissions to manage and control the circulation of small arms and also ensure the implementation of ratified treaties on small arms in Cemac countries.
The RECSA-prepared document was presented to participants at the workshop. For their part, members of the parliamentary forum on small arms were urged to table the issue before the national assembly and press for its ratification in order to facilitate its materialization.
Cameroon’s economy threatened as Nigeria devalues the Naira
The ripple effects of the landmark decision by Nigeria to devalue her currency will be a hot-and-cold situation for Cameroon especially because Nigeria is Cameroon’s n° 1 trading partner in Africa
By Tanyi Kenneth Musa in Yaounde
Nigerians in Douala and elsewhere in Cameroon have been quick to re-echo the famous French language saying, “Les choses qui arrivent aux autrescommencent déjà à nous arriver.” This followed the announcement made by the Nigerian government recently that Monday, 20 June 2016 marked the introduction of a system that would lead to the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, the Naira. Thus 1 Naira that used to be worth 2.5 FCFA will henceforth cost 1.5 FCFA.
According to financial experts, this is good news for Cameroonian economic operators in particular and Cameroon’s economy as a whole. This is especially so as Nigeria is one of Cameroon’s leading economic partners in the globe.
These experts hold that Nigerian products will be more affordable here, for Cameroonian businessmen will buy goods in Nigeria at a low cost to sell in Cameroon. Says KamgaPaulin, a wholesaler in the Mbopi market in Douala:
“Goods coming from Nigeria will be less expensive in our markets for the cost price will equally drop in the Nigerian market, on account of the fall of the value of the Naira.” Kamga further advised his Cameroonian colleagues to take advantage of the situation and increase their export to Nigeria.
For his part, NgoupayouNdjoya, another Douala-based businessman, who deals in grocery products, does not see a very bright future for Cameroonian products in Nigerian markets. He explains: “Our products will be expensive in Nigeria, and this will make them less competitive in the Nigerian market. This will not be good for our economy; it is very likely to reduce the volume of our goods that they import. For some products that they are used to buying here, they would preferably buy them locally in order to reduce cost.”
|Louis Paul MOTAZE|
Central African countries not very sure about tax lifting
If they respect the deadline of 4 August 2016, they would lose hundreds nay thousands of billions of FCFA which would be more than perilous to their different economies.
By EssanEkoninyam in Yaounde
The date of the entry into force of the lifting of customs duties and other taxes on goods within the framework of the Central Africa – EU Economic Partnership Accord is 4 August 2016. As the deadline approaches, countries of the Central African sub-region are ill at ease and are calling desperately for its postponement.
According to the members of the regional coordination committee of negotiations for the Economic Partnership Accord (EPA) for Central African countries, countries of the sub-region are not yet ready for this exercise which appears suicidal for the economies of the countries and which can endanger what the regional integration process has achieved so far.
The ministers of the sub-region who met in Douala on 17 June 2016 within the framework of the 14th session of the ministerial committee of EPA negotiations are also of this view. Analysts therefore hold that it is in their best interest as well as that of members of the regional coordination committee mentioned above to delay the deadline.
Camair-co’s plane grounded in Ethiopia
|Camair-Co needs to pay its debts to get back the ‘Dja|
A Camair-Co team is reportedly in Addis Ababa to discuss with Ethiopian Airlines, the maintenance company, and others. However, it is doubted if they have in their possession the entire sum of about 5.5 billion FCFA which is what Camair-co is owing
By Mercy Neba in Douala
The Boeing 767-300ER codenamed the Dja, belonging to the Cameroon Airlines Company, Camair-Co, has been undergoing repairs for many months in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Inside sources told The Median at the weekend that the repair works are over and that the Dja was supposed to have been flown back to Cameroon since 19 June 2016. But this has not been possible because Camair-co has not settled its debt with the maintenance companies to the tune of close to 5.5 billion FCFA.
Our sources said overwhelmed by the situation, the director general of Camair-Co, Jean Paul Nana Sandjo, sent a correspondence to the Minister of Finance on 15 June, requesting that the money be paid for the Dja to be retrieved so that it can resume activity. The DG is said to have informed Minister AlamineOusmaneMey in his mail that the maintenance companies are not ready to tolerate any further delay of payment and that Cameroon stands the risk of losing another aircraft, i.e. Boeing 737-700, to a hiring company. We were told that the latter is claiming the sum of 1 480 million FCFA from Cameroon.
A copy of Nana Sandjo’s letter, which The Median stumbled on and translated into English, reads inter alia: “I have the honour to inform you that the “Check-C” repair works of Boeing 767-300ER the Dja in Ethiopia are now over. The return of this aircraft to Cameroon is billed for Saturday, 18 June 2016 and its resumption of commercial duty as from Sunday, 19 June 2016. As we mentioned in the previous
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
|Jacque Fame Ndongo|
The national commission for the evaluation of foreign certificates has met in Yaoundé to study the authenticity of some 300 foreign certificates of some Cameroonians who studied abroad and who wish to be integrated into the country’s educational standard. The commission chaired by the minister of higher education, chancellor of the academic orders Jacque Fame Ndongo, proceeded in a rigorous examination of the certificates sent by Cameroonians in the Diaspora.
Of all the certificates examined, about 20 of them were rejected because according to the examination team, the files were inconsistent and not accurate. It was therefore risky for them to validate the files since the authenticity of the certificates was doubted.
As it has been the tradition, the commission since its creation meets four times every year to examine and validate certificates obtained from foreign institutions.
Limbe Gov’t Delegate donates generously to widows
By Nwo-Fuanya in Limbe
The Limbe City Council through its very dynamic Government Delegate, Andrew MotangaMonjimba on Thursday 23 June 2016 demonstrated solidarity with widows in the municipality by through generous donations to them.
Though the government Delegate is known for giving generously to the widows at different points in time, last Thursday’s gifts were varied and significant. The gifts comprised of uncountable bags of rice, packets of soap, cartons of vegetable oil amongst other items.
The donation was part of activities to mark the 6th edition of the International Widows Day.
Celebrated under theme “For a synergy of International Interventions in favor of Widows and Orphans” , the high point of the day was marked by the communion between the widows under the umbrella of the South West Widows Association (SOWA) and the Government Delegate to the Limbe Council, Andrew MotangaMonjimba.
In his remarks he said he is very much aware of what the widows go through on a daily basis adding that he will always continue to show solidarity towards them. Motanga reminded the widows that as a widower himself, he shares several concerns with the widows, adding that in the future more support shall be made available in different forms.
The SDO for Fako who also witnessed the event assured the widows of the continuous commitment of the state to protect and defend the rights of women in general and those of widows in particular. He said government is already doing much to put in place legislation that protects the rights of women and to assist widows in particular.
CAMWATER to take over Mile-4 community water project
By Nwo-Fuanya in Limbe
The peripheral and densely populated community of Bonadikombo-Mile 4 in Limbe is still to come to terms with the dramatic circumstances under which the Community Water Project is to be transferred to the Cameroon Water Utilities Company, CAMWATER.
The decision was announced by the SDO for Fako, Zang III on Thursday 23 June during a crisis meeting he convened to look into the Bonadikombo Community Water Management crisis. It emerged from the meeting that for quite sometime now, here has been a raging tussle in the management of the Bonadikombo community water which was constructed several years ago.
The tussle pits the chief of the community, EssombeNanyowe and others like Kontchou Emmanuel who sometimes ago were co-opted by the Fako SDO to manage the water.
As a result of the infighting, the quality and quantity of water produced and distributed has significantly dropped, leaving the people of Bondikombo on the verge of water borne diseases.
Also, the water catchments at Ewongo, Wotutu and Bonadikombo have been invaded, and houses and toilets constructed around it; pipes and storage facilities have depleted and huge sums of money have been collected from the population for one reason or the other.
Given the spectre of the problem, the SDO for Fako told all the stakeholders at the crisis meeting that water is first and foremost a natural resource that is owned by the state which protects it in the supreme interest of its citizens. Zang III added that the state allowed the community to manage the water because it did not pose any problem.
But things have changed so drastically. The first problem is that the population of Bonadikombo has grown exponentially over the past few years, meaning that measures must be taken to increase the quality and quantity of water supplied.
Stakeholders validate new management tools
A workshop to restitute the results of a project to elaborate new tools for management of wildlife in forest concessions took place in Mbalmayo on 17 June 2016.
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
Endangered Wildlife species like
chimps need to be protected
Stakeholders in the wildlife sector have elaborated and validated new tools for better management of wildlife in forest concessions in Cameroon. The tools were examined and validated at a workshop in Mbalmayo, Centre region, on 17 June 2016.
The workshop marked the end of a one-year project that ran from May 2015 to June 2016.
Jointly initiated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, WCS, and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, the project was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO to the tune of 135.000 US dollars.
It had as objective to elaborate tools that can be used to bring about a more objective, transparent and independent management of wildlife in forest concessions. It also sought to create favorable conditions for the respect and control of the forest governance indicators notably indicators 5.1 and 5.2 of the Cameroon forestry law.
Over 40 years of music:
EkambiBrillant decorated by Biya
The artiste was elevated to the dignity of Commander of the National Order of Valour, on Monday, 20 June 2016, in Douala
Ace makossa composer, arranger, singer and producer, EkambiEkambi Louis Brilliant alias MotaMuenya (better boy), has been honored with a medal by the president of the republic, Paul Biya.
Ekambi was on Monday, 20 June 2016, awarded the medal of commander of the Cameroon order of valour. He was decorated on behalf of the head of state, by the governor of the Littoral region, IvahaDiboua.
Affixing the medal on Ekambi’s chest, governor Diboua said the decoration was in recognition of Ekambi’s sterling contributions to the development of Cameroonian music and culture. He added that the purity of Ekambi’s songs have helped in no small way to preserve the originality of the Makossa genre.
“Ekambi music is refined and original; it also transcends epochs,” governor IvahaDiboua said, praising Ekambi for his unique voice and his exquisite dress sense.
For his part, Ekambi thanked Cameroonians for their support, and president Biya for the recognition which he described as humbling and gratifying.
Papillion dragged to court for false pretense
Famous Makossa artiste, Din Din Ferdinand alias PapillonMotaNguinya was on 21 June 2016 brought before the judge of the Littoral Appeals Court on charges of abuse of confidence and false pretense. The Makossa composer-singer was dragged to court by one ZakariaAbakarTerio, a Chadian national, who is accusing Papillon of defrauding him of the sum of 550.000 FCFA in complicity with another crook, MatalaDiallo.
During the initial trial at the Ndokotti Court of First Instance, Papillion was found guilty and sentenced to four months imprisonment and to pay damages to Zakaria amounting to twenty eight million five hundred and fifty fcfa (28.550.000), apart from court charges of 90.000 frs and a fine of 1.427 million FCFA.
Papillion’s lawyers have appealed the judgment. But this was not before he was kept behind bars for four days and later released on bail.
World Bank comes in as poultry farmer commits suicide in Bafoussam
By Rachel NtubeNgwese in Yaounde
For more than a month now poultry farmers in the country have been under panic following the apparition of the bird flu virus (H5N1 virus) that affects and kills table birds. The disaster that started in the state-owned poultry farm at the Nvog-Betsi neighborhood in Yaoundé soon spread to other parts of the capital city and other regions of the country.
In other to contain the spread of the virus, the government quickly banned the sale of chicken and related products such as eggs. Other measures to contain the crisis were rapidly instituted such as the disinfection of poultry farms and markets, the systematic destruction of identified poultry farms and the establishment of patrol teams to stop the sale and consumption of both infected and apparently healthy chickens.
These measures however salutary have plunged many business persons specialized in the rearing and sale of chicken and its byproducts into severe difficulties. It is evaluated that several billions of francs cfa have been lost by chicken dealers since the outbreak of the flu. Rough estimates put the figure at over 50 billion.
Buea Council & UK partners to train young Cameroonians
By Ajongakou Santos &Ittia Bruno in Buea
|Mayor Ekema Patrick Esunge|
Young Civil Servants in the public and private sectors, unskilled small business operators and young entrepreneurs, as well as graduates from all works of life will in the near future gain skills in effective public service management and good governance. The training program is one of the clauses in a partnership deal signed between the Buea Council and the UK-based International Governance Institute. The revelation was made at a press conference organized by Buea Council last Monday, 20 June 2016.
The 5-Day workshop has as main objective to help Cameroon recover lost grounds in governance, economic and social development, so as to keep pace and secure the realization of the 2035 vision, the Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema said at the press conference.
To achieve this, the Business Management Fellowship (BMF) Professional Development Training has been designed to implement support at local government levels, with lecturers and skilled facilitators in business management, anti-corruption, and good governance experts expected from African and European Universities.
SW Governor welcomes Lionesses in Buea
By Ajongakou Santos in Buea
|SW governor poses for a shot with Indomitable Lionesses|
The Governor of the Southwest Region, Bernard OkaliaBilai says he is optimistic that Cameroon’s female national football team, the Indomitable Lionesses, will make Cameroonians proud in November when the Green, Red, Yellow nation host the Female African Cup of Nations. Mr. OkaliaBilai made this affirmation as he welcomed the female national football team to the Southwest Region last Thursday, June 23, 2016 at the Residence Carlos Hotel, Muea- Buea.
Coach Carl EnowNgatchou and the 26-man-squad are on a two weeks training session at the Mount Cameroon Football Training Centre, Muea- Buea. The training session that commenced since June 19 is expected to run through June 30, 2016 after which the female national football team will go on break before returning to camp for the second and final phase of training. Until these training sessions are completed, Coach Carl EnowNgatchou told the Median, will the team select the 23-man squad that will defend Cameroon in November at the Female African Football Championship.
While welcoming the lionesses to the Legendary Hospitality town of Buea, often referred to as “the second home” of the team, Southwest Governor challenged them to set a good example for their male counterparts; the indomitable lions by giving the nation the long awaited silverware when they play the female AFCON in November. Mr. Okalia and his entourage likewise assured the female national football selection that the Southwest Region is wholly behind them, and praying for their success as they embark on the expedition. To match words with action, the governor handed an envelope to the squad.
Cameroon and Tottenham Hotspur striker, Clinton Njie, has visited the Indomitable Lionesses at their training camp at Muea-Buea as they prepare for the upcoming Africa Women Cup of Nations billed for November 2016 in Cameroon.
Clinton Njie made the surprise visit on June 18 to encourage the girls as they begin their first phase of preparation ahead of the Africa Women’s AFCON.
Njie, who is on holidays in his hometown, Buea, said it was wise to pay the Lionesses a visit and encourage them and let them know that Cameroonians are behind them.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
By Ajongakou Santos & Boris Esono in Buea
|Jean Kuete in photo with some Fako CPDM bigwigs|
After the towns of Maroua, Garoua, Ngaoundere, Bertoua, Ebolowa and Douala the installation of regional and divisional delegates of the CPDM party continued in Buea on Thursday 16 June 2016, where the permanent delegates to the six divisions of the region were installed to their various functions alongside the regional delegates.
The divisional delegates were appointed by a decision of the national president of the CPDM, Paul Biya on 19 May 2016. The members of regional delegations were appointed way back in December 2015.
Thus Senator Peter MafanyMusonge was installed as the head of the South West regional permanent delegation of the CPDM Central Committee, with Hon. EbongNgole John, Hon. Chief TabetandoNdiep-Nso, Hon. Forju Bernard, and Mrs. Bertha NdohBakata as members.
Meanwhile, the charges de mission of the regional delegation are Mr. Monono Humphrey Ekema and Mr. Oben James Agbor.
Meanwhile, Hon. MonjowaLifaka Emilia, H.E. NgolleNgolle Elvis, Mr. Tasong Paul, H.E. MengotArrey Victor, Justice Benjamin Itue and Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute were also installed as the heads of their respective divisional delegations.
DR. Chris Fomunyoh edifies Buea discussion forum
By Ajongakou Santos & Boris Esono in Buea
|Dr. Fomunyoh Christopher|
The role of civil society in democratic transitions in Africa was the main topic of discussion at a talk organized at the Federal Quarters, Buea residence of the president of the Fako Lawyers Association, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla, on Monday 13th June 2016.
Moderated by Mr. Lifongo William, adviser to the UN Under-Secretary on Gender issues, the forum afforded a perfect avenue for people from diverse backgrounds to proffer solutions to issues such as independence and sustainability of the civil society.
The guest speaker, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, who is Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa at the Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), addressed varied themes including notably “individual and collective responsibility”; “challenging times for the future of democracy”; “renewal of political leadership”, just to name these few. According to him, political office holders should stop working for personal gain and focus on community goals which will propel their country forward.
“Civil societies are catalysts and lubricants for any democratic society,” he added, noting that “If Cameroon neglects its civil society the country will stop functioning, just like a car will stop moving if the fuel tank is empty”.
With regards to the renewal of political leadership in the country, Mr. Fomunyoh was of the opinion that there is need for separation of powers. He regretted that in the present dispensation the executive arm of government is too preponderant and even suffocates the legislative and judiciary powers.
Dr. Fomunyoh observed that elected officials do not serve the general public but pay allegiance to the executive branch. “How can there be a country were the president elects members of the senate, is the head of the judiciary and also commands the legislature?”