Friday, May 31, 2013

Food Production: Cameroon so blessed, yet so cursed

Jaff Napoleon Bamenjo

Cameroon is endowed with fertile land and an abundant natural resource base that would contribute enormously to development and solve food insecurity most parts of the country if well harnessed and exploited.
But “corruption deprives a majority of the population from benefiting from the wealth of the country”, notes Jaff Napoleon anti -poverty and hunger activist.
The coordinator of the Network for the Fight Against Hunger in Cameroon (RELUFA) was speaking in Yaounde on Wednesday May 29 at the opening of a workshop to drill journalists on a project dubbed “communication on food insecurity in the Far North Region of Cameroon”.
According to him, the 7.125.000 hectares of arable land and the 70% of the population of Cameroon that practice family agriculture can feed the nation. But food security and sovereignty remains a problem.
“Disparities within the country make the northern region most affected by food insecurity and hunger”, he says.
The one-day workshop at the head office of the network in Yaounde was aimed at provoking a policy discussion on food insecurity in the Far North Region of Cameroon.
According to a 2011 World Food Program report, the rate of food insecurity in the Far North region of Cameroon stands at 17.9%, followed by the North with 14.6% while the East region is third with 10.3%.
Against this backdrop, RELUFA started a project in the Far North region known as “community grain bank”.
The association has built community grain storage houses where food is stored. “When households run out of food, they can come and borrow from the grain banks and repay in kind during harvest periods”, says Mr Jaff.
Through the program, food has been available to the local communities of the 42 villages where the project is being implemented since 2006 in the Far North Region, journalists were told.
However, experts say the solving the problem of food insecurity requires a chain value.
Mr Jaff argues that “management is outstanding”.
The acute problem of food insecurity in the Far North Region of Cameroon according to Sandrine Bikelle, Programs Assistant at RELUFA is caused by both natural and structural factors.
Climatic conditions like continuous drought as well as floods are some of the natural factors that account for the poor yields and high rate of food insecurity in the Far North region of Cameroon.
She argues that poor management of harvests by peasants, illicit exportation of farm produce by peasants and insufficient access to farm inputs by farmers also contribute greatly to the problem of food insecurity that the region faces.
Sandrine Bikelle 
The acute food insecurity faced by the Northerners has caused most of them to reduce their daily food consumption, resort to cheap and less nutritive food and reduce expenditure on non food services like education and health amongst others.
Sandrine Bikelle says, “these have a negative impact on the population as there is feeble intellectual and economic growth due to low scholarization”.
The introduction of the community grain banks by RELUFA has not only helped ensure food availability all year round as “some agribusinesses are seeking negotiations with local communities while communities or individuals affected by the projects have received compensation” says Mr Jaff Napoleon.
Attendees of the Yaounde workshop were members of the Association of Cameroon Journalists for the Promotion of Agriculture and Development, known in its French acronym as AJAD.
According its president Thierry Djoussi, AJAD promotes agriculture through communication amongst others.
They would in the days ahead visit the Far North Region to acquaint themselves with field realities.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Cameroon Kick Starts Comprehensive Dialogue on REDD Process

Participants at the Dialogue
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
In 2008, Cameroon submitted its concept note for national REDD readiness planning (known as Readiness Preparation Proposal, RPP) to the World Bank’s Forest and Carbon Partnership Facility.
The stakes and challenges of implementing the REDD program in Cameroon was at the centre of a two days national dialogue that took place at the Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation in Yaounde from May 27-28, 2013.
Mr Nguemadji Moussa Jules, member of the national coordination of REDD in the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development said the RPP defines Cameroon’s plan of elaborating and implementing the REDD mechanism in Cameroon.
The dialogue focused on ensuring governance in the elaboration of the REDD program.
 “The challenge here is to ensure that there is good governance that takes into account all concerns of all involved”.
There are two ministries in Cameroon with direct responsibility for REDD policy-making and related issues; the Ministry of the Environment, Nature protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is overseeing climate change issues, while the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF) is responsible for protected areas and forests.
But for it successful elaboration and implementation, Mr Nguemadji Moussa Jules says it is very important that all ministries take part.
“The REDD mechanism cannot be successful without the taking into account of all stakeholders in the forestry, water and mining sectors, the Ministries that deal with these have to be implicated in the REDD process.
According Mr Njamnshi Augustine, Executive Secretary of Bioresources Development and Conservation Program (BDCP) Cameroon, there is need for a continuous dialogue around the REDD program.
“Governance is a critical part of REDD, without dialogue and participation of the entire stakeholder, REDD can bring a lot of misgivings and people will not understand what it is and the good intensions of REDD can be turned into a nightmare if REDD is not well managed”, Mr Njamnshi said.
The dialogue sought to initiate a conversation in Cameroon on the issue and set the pace for a more all-encompassing dialogues between the different stakeholders of the REDD process.
“The series of dialogues is to show the importance to information, participation, accountability and transparency in REDD management in Cameroon”.
The two days national dialogue was organised by the Bioresources Development and Conservation Program Cameroon and sponsored by the World Resources Institute through GFI Cameroon.
Representatives of government Ministries, the civil society, farmers’ representatives and individual consultants amongst others took part in the talks.
Mr Njamnshi Augustine hoped that the recommendations from the dialogue will influence the implementation of the REDD program in Cameroon especially in aspects such as accountability, transparency and coordination.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MDGs: Cameroon thinks beyond 2015

Developing a new development agenda for Cameroon after 2015 was under discussion at national consultation workshop on post 15 development agenda that took place in Yaounde on May 28, 2013.
According to Mr Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Cameroon Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, it was certain that Cameroon would not attain the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 but by the year 2020.
However, the country has done and can do better, notes the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Madam Najat Rochdi.
Cameroon has made insignificant strides towards attaining the eight MDGs.
“The strides made could not have been significant, and it is perhaps for this reason that the country has been chosen amongst 50 to launch the post 2015 development agenda”, says Minister Nganou Djoumessi.
The Cameroon government and the United Nations system through the national consultation wish to revise its strategies by identifying problems linked to attaining the Millennium Development Goals two years to the evaluation phase.
The recommendations from the two days national consultation would be defended at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013 as it would serve as the base report for 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Proper Use of ICT Tools Reduces Road Accidents-Experts

P & T Minister, Biyiti Bi-Essam (standing)
ICTs play a catalyst role in creating opportunities for people of all works of life worldwide.
It is common to see drivers and pedestrians alike today on the streets with ICT tools at their finger tips to communicate across the world as they drive or cross the road.
Some even choose entertainment options like music, radio, television or social media.
According to the United Nations road safety collaboration report released by UN scribe, Ban Ki-moon, 1.3 million people die each year in traffic related accidents and another 20-50 million people are injured mainly in developing countries around the world.
Driver distraction and road-user behavior which includes ‘text messaging’ and interfacing with in-vehicle navigation or communication systems while driving, are amongst the leading contributors to road traffic fatalities and injuries.
The focus of the 2013 edition of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day(WTISD) commemorated under the theme “ICTs and improving road safety” was to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.
In his message to the world on the occasion, the UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recalls that the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020 is dedicated to helping make roads and vehicles safer worldwide.
“Information and communication technologies provide many options”, the UN scribe notes.
Mr Ban Ki-Moon opines that intelligent transport systems and navigation devices can help reduce congestion.
“Radars can help to prevent collision with other road users, including pedestrians”.
On his part, the Secretary General of the ITU, Dr Hamadou I. Touré called on drivers not to be distracted technology when driving.
“Sending a text message or tweeting while driving while driving is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost”.
Presiding at an event to mark the 148th World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in Yaounde, the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi-Essam urged that Cameroonians should use ICTs to sensitize their peers on road safety tips through the social media networks.
He lauded the vigorous road safety campaign by the Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the national gendarmerie.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Friday, May 24, 2013

Soccer: Government Suspends Cameroon FA Elections

John Begheni Ndeh, Vindicated
The government has banned the election of a new president at the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT.
The National Television has announced that for security reasons, the elective General assembly of FECAFOOT that was scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday May 25, 2013 has been postponed till further notice.
The same announcement says the arbitration and conciliation commission of the National Olympics and Sports committee has declared incumbent president, Iya Salim Shagari Mohammed ineligible for the election.
Delegates from the regions who inundated the capital, Yaounde ahead of the elections are reportedly frustrated.
CAF and FIFA representatives to the election are currently holding a meeting Yaounde with the delegates from the regions.
Three candidates were vying for the post of president of Cameroon FA; Iya Mohamed, John Begheni and Marlene Emvoutou.
The former Director of Cabinet of the incumbent President and current President of the Etoile Filante Football Club of Garoua in a press conference in Yaounde earlier today had criticized the legal framework under which the FECAFOOT elections were to take place.
Mr Abdouraman Hamadou Babba said FECAFOOT texts have been violated by incumbent president, Iya Mohammed.
Iya’s main challenger, John Begheni had earlier requested that the candidature of the incumbent be rejected.
Iya Mohammed has been at the head of Cameroon's football federation for 15 years now. His leadership could be credited with the gold medal won by Cameroon at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, 2 African cup of Nation wins in 2000 and 2004 and two World cup participations in 2002 in Korea/ Japan and 2010 in South Africa.
John Begheni Ndeh is the current first vice president of FECAFOOT.

OAYouth Cameroon Picks Working Group

Jude Thaddeus Njikem-OAYouth Cameroon Chair
The Cameroon branch of the Organization of African Youth, OAYouth has designated a six man delegation to oversee the activities of the organization in the country.
Jude Thaddeus Njikem, Ndi Eugene Ndi, Enoh Tata Joan, Elvis Tangie, Nganyu Emmanuel Ndukong, and Jermain Amuchie Nnaeto were delegated in Buea on Saturday May 11, 2013 in a meeting to that effect.
OAYouth is a youth development organization to confront common problems that affect young people. “We believe the future leadership should be nurtured in the know of all principles of democracy, economic development, political tolerance, social justice and human rights”, says Mr. Jude Thaddeus Njikem, National Chairman of OAYouth Cameroon.
The Chairman explained that OAYouth gives young people access to leadership training, interactive participation in innovation and entrepreneurship, volunteerism and the will to engage in peaceful conflict resolution. Jude Thaddeus opined that “such concepts should be introduced to people when they are still young”.
The designated working group members are thus expected to the organization’s vision in Cameroon, under the coordination of the national branch chair.
Organization of African Youth (OAYouth) is successfully implementing empowerment and advocacy programs that are building young people to become responsible citizens and new drivers of Africa’s social, political and economic transformation.
OAYouth is a registered member-based non-profit youth organization with headquarters in South Africa.
With branches in 35 African countries, the organization works to inspire, unify and empower local national youth, while strengthening synergy of programs in all African countries.
The National Chairman of OAYouth Cameroon, Mr Jude Thaddeus Njikem is the founder member of the organization in Cameroon. In 2010 He was first appointed Country Coordinator and voted Chair-person of the National Branch Committee.
He was later voted in a by-election in 2011 to become the continent's Second Vice President.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cameroon appoint German Volker Finke as coach

Volker Finke
Cameroon have named German Volker Finke as the new coach of the Indomitable Lions and he is set to take over from Jean-Paul Akono.
Initial reports are that Akono and his assistants will be in charge for the vital World Cup qualifiers against Togo on 9 June and DR Congo a week later, as well a friendly against Ukraine before that.
However with Akono still recovering from a suspected mild heart attack over the weekend Finke may start his role sooner than expected.
It is understood that fromer France boss Raymond Domenech and Antoine Kambouare were also considered for the job.
Frenchman Domenech, 61, was manager of his country's national team between 2004 and 2010, taking them to the runners-up spot at the 2006 World Cup finals.
However, he has no experience of African football at either club or national level and has not been involved in football management since the end of his time in charge of Les Bleus.
Kambouare is also a free agent, having been sacked by Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal FC in January this year.
The former Paris Saint Germain manager, 49, also has no coaching experience in Africa.
Meanwhile, Fecafoot has contacted the 25 members of the squad named by Akono for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, as well as the friendly against Ukraine on 2 June.
After Akono circulated details of the squad, Fecafoot stated it had rejected his selections because it expected to have a new man in place who would make his own selections.
BBC Sport has been told that Akono's squad has now been accepted.
Source: BBC

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

About 700 to go jobless as Herakles suspends activities in Cameroon

Bruce Wrobel
The American agro-industrial company, Herakles Farms which has been criticized by many civil societies in Cameroon has finally convex to pressure and hanged up its operations in Cameroon.
In a release signed by the CEO of Herakles Farms, Bruce Wrobel explains that the suspension is in response to an order it received from the Government of Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry & Wildlife (MINFOF).
The order requests that the Company cease preparing land near its Talangaye nursery, the resumption of activities until further notice.
The company notes that the order comes at a time when the Company’s main activity is the transfer of young trees from the nurseries to their permanent places in the field near the village of Talangaye. 
“The Company had obtained permission to proceed and always has and will comply fully and transparently with government regulations in force”, the release reads.
The Control Commission of the Forestry and Wildlife Ministry had summoned Herakles Farms which is operating in Cameroon through its subsidiary outfit SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC) to stop its operations in the country since 2012.
According to the release, “the Company is diligently working with Cameroonian Government officials to resolve the matter as quickly as possible”.
With 690 full-time staff, the release says the company will have to lay off some staff to meet up expenses until the problem is resolved.
“Given the uncertain timeframe for resuming development, SG-SOC is reducing and furloughing its workforce of 690 full-time employees”, the release reads.
Besides, the release says the Company’s community and work force development programs will remain in doubt until a resolution with the Government of Cameroon can be found.
“The company finds these events especially tragic and will do all it can to achieve a positive outcome”, notes management in the release.
On September 17, 2009, Herakles Farms through its subsidiary, SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon PLC (SGSOC) signed a contract with the Cameroon government to develop a large industrial palm oil plantation and refinery on 73,086 hectares of land in Mundemba, Toko and Nguti in the South West Region of Cameroon.
Since then, the American agro-industrial company has been subjected to criticisms from local and international civil society organizations, including WWF.
In 2012, the Center for Environment and Development (CED) published a study which indicated that a weak Environmental Impact Assessment was presented to the government of Cameroon prior to the signing of the contract amongst other things.
On April 19, 2013, a study jointly conducted by Greenpeace and ACDIC elucidated that the Herakles Farms project could lead to food insecurity in Cameroon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

National Day: Ngog Mapubi celebrates in Pomp

Ngog Mapubi D.O. Congratulating Forces of Law and Order
Like every other part of Cameroon the population of Ngog Mapubi sub division in the Nyong and Kellé Division of the Centre Region celebrated the National Day with pomp and pageantry on Monday, May 20, 2013 under the theme, “The Army and The Nation, Working Together towards Meeting Security Challenges for an Emerging Cameroon”.
Before the military and civilian march pass, pupils and students drawn from some primary and secondary schools thrilled onlookers with choreographic dances.
Arguably, the most awe-inspiring performance was that of Government School Makai. The pupils sent the crowds cheering as they prodigiously executed the complex ‘assiko’ caper popular with the Bassas.
The Divisional Officer for Ngog Mapubi, Ambomo Mani Hervé Marie, who was presiding at his first-ever National Day celebration in a community whose reins he took barely weeks ago said the celebration of the 41st edition of the National Day in that part of the country was a resounding triumph.
“We have seen a rich and wonderful march pass of civilians and the forces of law and order to who I wish to pay a growing tribute for all the services they have been rendering to this nation,” he said.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the population of this area to stand firm behind the head of state, President Paul Biya to consolidate the values of unity in this fatherland that are attached to our republic”, the divisional officer added.
Ngog Mapubi is one of the biggest subdivisions of the Nyong and Kellé division. It has a population of over 30,000 inhabitants spread over 17 villages on a surface area of 754 square kilometres.
According to Mr Simb Emile, Mayor of Ngog Mapubi, the people of the sub division are principally farmers.
“With the birth of the Boumnyebel junction, the subdivision has been engaged in many economic activities”, the mayor said adding that Boumnyebel has since been the economic hub of Ngog Mapubi. “It is from Boumnyebel that the council gets it revenue”.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cameroon women hesitant about using female condoms

The results of an over ten-year campaign to get sexually active women in Cameroon use the female condom has not been satisfactory forcing experts to devise a new strategy.
3.1 million female condoms have been distributed in Cameroon since 2002 but this figure is not encouraging for a very sexually active society, according to Mr Auguste Kpognon, executive director of the Cameroon Association for Social Marketing (ACMS).
Many socio-cultural barriers still constitute a handicap, Mr Kpognon said.
The Cameroon Association for Social Marketing (ACMS) started distributing female condoms in the country in 2002. 
With support from the Cameroon government, The Universal Access to Female Condom Project (UAFC) Joint Program was launched in November 2009.
The UAFC project’s ‘protectiv’ female condoms targeted the most sexually active Cameroonian women, those between 25 and 35 years.
ACMS officials say strides have been made in its distribution but concur that much still has to be done to get Cameroonians acquainted with the female condom.
Some have observed that its FCFA 300 price tag has been a major wall holding back many sexually active men and women. They rather prefer the male condom they say they can afford at its relatively cheap price (FCFA 100 for a pack of four).
Following a succession of consultations with donor agencies and other stakeholders ACMS decided to shave off FCFA 200 from the initial price of the female condom.
With FCFA 100 one can now afford a pack of three female condoms in Cameroon.
The female condom ACMS experts have said is an alternative technology to help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and STIs including HIV.
Minister of Public Health (MINSANTE), André Mama Fouda announced the price cut at a press conference in Yaounde on Tuesday May 14, 2013 in the presence of his colleagues, Minister of Communication (MINCOM), Issa Tchiroma Bakary and the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF), Professor Marie Therese Abena Ondoua.
Mr Mama Fouda urged all sexually active women “to take ownership of their condom and take things under control” like the slogan of the condom says.
 “AIDS is still present in the society and remains a public health problem,” the Public Health minister noted.
A drop in the price is not only what is needed. Many Cameroonians still have a hazy knowledge about the female condom.
23 year old Economics major, Sheila, at the University of Yaounde II told this reporter she does not use the female condom because she does not know where to get it.
 “Where do I get it, I buy the male condom for my guy because it is available and easy to use”, she said.
Some who know where to get it are reluctant to purchase it.  Such is the case of another student of the same institution who asked not to be named.
“When you insert the female condom you don’t feel the taste of the sex. I prefer the male condom”, the student said.
Women and not men should be educated about the availability of the female condom and how it is used according to Willy, an inhabitant of the Omnisport neighbourhood in Yaounde.
 “If women themselves move with male condoms in their bags, how do you expect men to ask them to buy the female condom”, Willy said.
Experts say breaking the myth around the female condom requires a lot of sensitization and education as social barriers and ignorance should be wiped off even before measures like price cuts are taken.
Ndi Eugene Ndi

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cameroon begins new thinking on the climate crisis

Climate Change Campaigners at the National Dialogue
In their bid to cut back on the effects of climate change, campaigners have largely overlooked opportunities that these challenges can bring, biosafety and environmental law expert Mr Augustine Njamnshi has said.
The Executive Secretary of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCP-C) says in facing up to these challenges, it is incumbent on stakeholders to dig deeper into them because a treasure trove of the benefits will be unearthed.
He spoke in Yaoundé on Friday May 17 during a national workshop on the challenges and socio-economic opportunities of climate change in and for Cameroon.
All sectors of the community; the private sector, civil society organizations and the government, are facing the climate challenge and Mr Njamnshi recommends going for the ‘silver lining’ beyond it.
“We have come to realize at a certain point that while we need economic development, we still need our healthy environment, we still need the people that live in this environment”, he said.
The Yaoundé workshop was an all-inclusive dialogue that brought together business leaders, civil society leaders, law makers and state agents to brood on possible opportunities that climate change offers.
The meeting sought to initiate a conversation in Cameroon on the issue and set the pace for a more all-encompassing partnership between the different stakeholders of the development process.
Dr Amougou, Focal Point of Climate Change Conventions in the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development said the benefits of such a dialogue are manifold.
 “It is not only the ministry that will benefit; everyone is affected by the effects of climate change. We are trying to see what Cameroon has done to mitigate the effects of climate change and how we can adapt to the changing climate”, the government official said.
Climate change continues to pose challenges to the development efforts of impoverished parts of the world. Floods, rising sea levels, unpredictable rains and desertification all have the potential to slow and even compromise economic prosperity. Yet the global efforts to contain and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change often ignores the role the business community can play.
The Yaoundé talks had managers of financial institutions, road construction companies amongst others in attendance who could bankroll the novel methods of dealing with climate change the seminar is devising.
Mr Njamnshi said “the private sector can provide both the investment and innovation needed for the transition from dirty to clean development. It can also benefit from funding mechanisms either already existent or being formulated”.
One of the participants at the national dialogue, Mr Jato Ngeh John of the Promotion of Sustainable Development in Donga Mantung (PROSDOMA) said he was satisfied with the dialogue.
“I am going back home edified. The presentations especially the one on the conditions for access to climate-related financing available in Cameroon was very inspiring”.
The one-day national dialogue was organized by the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme-Cameroon (BDCP-C) with support from the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the British High Commission in Cameroon.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chaos at UB: Administration on Bended Knees for Help

UB Campus has been Militarized (Picture on 15/05/2013)
Visit the University of Buea today and you will see firsthand that it is a far cry from what it used to be; a serene institution renowned for setting standards in the higher education sector across Cameroon.
Following violent confrontations at the institution on Wednesday, an atmosphere of fear and distrust now reigns. The deployment of heavily armed security forces all over the campus has not helped matters.
On Wednesday May 15, 2013, students of the institution were on strike. Six persons were injured and at least three vehicles belonging to the institution were destroyed by striking students, an official of the university who asked not to be named said.
Another official said the students mainly want charges at a Buea court against 12 student leaders dropped and for fresh first semester examinations to be set for the suspects who were rounded up during the examinations period.
The students were charged to court for holding the Vice Chancellor, Dr Nalova Lyonga, hostage for over three hours in her car on campus during a strike in February.
The students also want the institutions leadership to let the union elect its leadership before May 20 and demand that the union be accorded funding, a release on Saturday from the University of Buea Students Union (UBSU) stated.
In a crisis meeting in Buea on Thursday, Nalova called on the government to help the University of Buea to apply Higher Education Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo’s instructions on the setting up and functioning of students unions.
The latest strike comes after talks ended in a deadlock on two occasions.
Asked whether the case with the students would be withdrawn, the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Nalova Lyonga reportedly said she was just a witness in a case filed by the state.
When the riots erupted the Vice Chancellor was in Yaounde attending the 29th session of the Inter-University Consultative Committee (CCIU) charged with the examination of the files of lecturers in search of promotion.
Members of the CCIU were meeting at the Advanced Teachers Training College, ENS Yaounde.

The Genesis

The reasons at the heart of the chaos at the University of Buea are legion but the collection of dues by the University of Buea Students Union (UBSU) is one of the most contentious issues.
In conformity with the tradition at most Anglo Saxon Universities, UBSU is a vibrant association with a strong membership and was actively engaged in the securing the commitment of former and potential students.
Dr Nalova’s baptism of fire was in October 2012 barely four months after being named to the helm of the institution.
She stated in a release that “participation in UBSU was a purely voluntary option and any attempt to force the payment of dues constitutes an unruly and illegal act running contrary to the principles guiding student union membership as laid down by the Minister”.
The communiqué was guaranteed to provoke a violent reaction from UBSU whose administration referred to Article 23 of the Common Statute of Students of State Institutions of Higher Learning in Cameroon insisting on the obligatory nature of such payment.
Given the stalemate, a confrontation was inevitable. Navola was thus faced with the task of managing her first strike in UB. Though there was disruption of lectures, UB authorities ultimately regained control by arresting the ringleaders and inundating the school campus with law enforcement officers.
In an interview with NewsWatch (published in issue No. 002 of October 31, 2012), the Vice Chancellor made it clear that “UB students MUST NOT, but may pay dues to UBSU”.
She acknowledging she cannot ban UBSU, but said “the university union is just an association like any other. You cannot force anybody to belong to an association”.
Far from being the last, as the dust was yet to settle on the October 2012 strike, the students in February 2013 went to the streets again.
The protesting students were calling for a rapid resumption of businesses on campus such printing and fast food stalls and kiosks amongst other things.
Four students were arrested in the riot and two of them were released a few days later after paying FCFA 700, 0000, reports say.
The Wednesday May 15, 2013 strike is believed to have been orchestrated by the detention of some UBSU officials by the UB administration in connection with the February strike.