Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cameroon: Agric Bank To Go Operational In 2014

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Nearly two decades after the liquidation of “CréditAgricole”, Cameroonians will have again a bank whose mission is to contribute to the financing of agricultural projects.
PM Yang

While presenting the government’s financial, economic, social and cultural program for the 2014 financial year at the National Assembly on Thursday November 28, 2013, Cameroon’s Prime Minister and Head of Government, Philemon Yang announced that the long awaited agricultural bank will go operational next year.
President Paul Biya announced the creation of the Agricultural bankand the bank of Small and Medium size Enterprises in Ebolowa, South region of Cameroon in January 2011 while opening the national agro pastoral show.
Agriculture remains the backbone of Cameroon's economy, employing 70 percent of its workforce, while providing 42 percent of its GDP and 30 percent of its export revenue. Blessed with fertile land and regularly abundant rainfall in most regions, Cameroon produces a variety of agricultural commodities both for export and for domestic consumption. Coffee and cocoa are grown in central and southern regions, bananas in southwestern areas, and cotton in several Northern regions.
In addition to export commodities, Cameroonian farmers produce numerous subsistence crops for family consumption. Principal food crops include millet, sorghum, peanuts, plantains, sweet potatoes, and manioc. Animal husbandry is practiced throughout the country and is particularly important in Northern regions.
Government has submitted a proposed budget of FCFA 3312 Billion for the 2014 financial year to parliament. The budget if validated will witness an increase of FCFA 76 Billion from that of the 2013 financial year.

Germany Seizes Congolese Wood in Strongest EU Action Yet Against Illegal Timber Trade

Below is a news release from Greenpeace
27 November 2013 – German authorities have seized two batches of illegal timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The seizure is the strongest case of enforcement of an EU law banning the trade in illegally sourced timber which took effect in March 2013. The government action was triggered by a tip-off from Greenpeace.
“This sends a strong signal to all loggers and their buyers in Europe to steer clear of dodgy business. We urge German authorities to conduct a full inquiry and not let the companies involved off the hook,” said Danielle van Oijen, forest campaigner at Greenpeace Netherlands.
EU countries must increase efforts to implement and enforce the European timber regulation, said Greenpeace. Illegal timber will continue to enter the EU market, unless strong action is taken against those who break the law.
The seized timber is from the endangered wengé tropical tree species. It was logged by Lebanese-owned Bakri Bois Corporation (BBC) in the DRC. The BBC logs were taken to the Belgian port of Antwerp in April 2013 for Swiss-based timber trader Bois d’Afrique Mondiale and were eventually placed on the EU market by three German timber companies. A separate batch ended up in the Czech Republic for processing.
“Illegal and destructive logging must stop for the sake of the forests and the millions of people who depend on them. The Congolese government should cancel BBC’s illegal concession contract and investigate and prosecute anybody involved in a suspected falsification of official documents. Not one splinter of illegal wood from the DRC must find its way to Europe,” said Raoul Monsembula, country coordinator for Greenpeace Africa in the DRC.
The timber was logged under an illegal concession contract, according to a government-approved report by independent DRC forest observer Resource Extraction Monitoring. A joint field mission by Greenpeace Africa, Global Witness and local NGOs confirmed these independent reports and found other cases of irregularities.

“We Are Happy Goods from PAD Can Now Reach Destinations On Time”-Shey Jones Yembe, Board Chairman PAD

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Shey Jones Yembe, civil engineer, chairman of the National Civil
Shey Jones Yembe
Engineering Laboratory (Labogenie), chairman of the Ports Authority of Douala (PAD), and Chief Executive Officer of MAG (a construction company based in Douala) has described the laying of the foundation stone for the second bridge over the Wouri river as a wonderful thing that happened to Cameroon. According to the civil engineer, the construction of the bridge will let Cameroonian engineers touch some of the high technology in civil engineering and make Cameroon grow. The chairman of PAD says, they at the Douala ports are so happy that they can now work and be sure that the goods cleared will go to their various destinations in time. Excerpts;

You are a civil engineer, chairman of the National Civil Engineering Laboratory amongst others, what is your appraisal of the second bridge over the Wouri?
This is a wonderful piece of job and I am so happy to know the President of the republic has put emphasis on it. I was even very elated when he talked of the engineering aspect of it. I said whao, so he is even worried about those details because more often a politician should just be worried about the grandeur of the structure and not bothered about the technical challenges. This will be a huge project for us. It will let Cameroonian engineers touch some of the high technology in civil engineering and make Cameroon grow. What we are going to get from it as engineers or technicians will be great and we will use the transferred technology in other domains; that is talking about engineering. Now talking as the Chairman of National Civil Engineering Laboratory (Labogenie), I am so proud to know that our national laboratory has been taken and was one of the most important laboratories to do the control works. Because the works are very challenging we need to make sure that the quality of the work is well done and choosing Labogenie for us is a mark of confidence that we are doing the right thing or that the Labogenie company; the government company is doing the right thing.
The project is sponsored by the French government, what guarantees are there that Labogenie’s oversights will be respected?
For the works to be paid, it must be the control mission that does the invoices and authorizes payment. The French are financing to the tune of FCFA 120 billion and it is a French company that is executing the work. So it is the control mission that can permit payment after controlling what has been done. It’s true, it is also Egis a French company but they cannot just pay the works without haven guaranteed that everything has been controlled technically. So Labogenie is doing the geotechnical part of it while control mission is doing the invoicing and to do the invoicing it has to see the work done using the technical results from cards that Labogenie would have done before confirming the payment. So there is nothing like they are going to ignore what Labogenie says. And even companies have gone beyond sharing control missions to laboratories as gendarmes rather than people who accompany you because if you do work and in future that work did not succeed and you had to come back on it because there is always a guarantee from the time that they receive the work to final reception, it would cost you more than if you just listened to those who do the technical studies. This is so because the technical test gives you the exact and precise way to mix your concrete with the right quantities of cement and moisture levels. That would help you to make sure that the infrastructure you have constructed even after reception it will not have to do require immediate repairs. So today, companies sometimes even have their own laboratories to be cock sure that the test we are talking about have been truly and properly done, so Labogenie cannot be ignored in this giant structure. On the contrary I can testify with you that SOGEA SATOM which is the construction company will surely have its own laboratory and even make sure that the laboratory is up to date, if possible even better than Labogenie’s laboratory to ensure that they have the best quality. It doesn’t cost them very much sometimes to have the right thing, for example; having good concrete sometimes is not the amount of cement you add to it, if you respect the quantity of cement that was done for the studies, then you can either fix or spoil your concrete by putting so much water or very little water. Meanwhile if the tests were properly done and you calibrated how much water you are putting every time you are doing your concrete, you will have the right thing. Also just by vibrating just to the optimal, not vibrating it too much or too little, you will have good quality. Those are the things that Labogenie would help them to do properly. It would be the Laboratory to accompany the construction company rather than to gendarme the company.
You are also a business man, how will the construction of a second bridge over the Wouri River help business activities in the city of Douala and its environs?
One of the things that make business to grow or not to grow is being able to move goods left and right. A company becomes only important in Douala or in Bonaberi, or around the Moungo or in Tiko or anywhere, just as much as it is possible to produce whatever you are producing; your yogurt or whatever and be able to bring to Douala without having to wait at Bikoko, at the entrance for 2-3 hours; then that company becomes useless. But if you know that you can produce something in Tiko, Limbe, Nkongsamba, Melong, Dschang and be able to bring it to Douala without having to waste time on the way, then you could also have industries in the hinterlands and decongest Douala a little bit. So for us businessmen, we think that this is another opportunity that will make the whole sub region profit and make Douala become that huge mega pole of industries that will profit us in one way or the other. If you open a shop alone in an area your business will never grow. It is better when you have many more business people around you and there is competition then you grow with respect to the environment that has become very good for business.
If I understand the technical specifications of the new bridge, it will have five lanes on one side and two three lanes on the other side. But all the lanes will empty themselves unto the small road on both sides of the river
There will be two bridges side by side; I am not talking about the old bridge; the new bridges. So we are going to end up with three bridges on the Wouri at that point next to each other. The new bridge has two bridges; one for road transport and one for railway. And the railway this time will have two lanes so that a train could even be going to Bonaberi while another one is going to Douala. They don’t have to wait until they have crossed which is a wonderful thing. Then the road has five lanes; you have three lanes coming into Douala from Bonaberi on the other side and two lanes moving from Douala to Bonaberi. You will ask me why they did that. The intension is that the old bridge would be used for the traffic from Douala into Bonaberi which means that you are virtually having 3 lanes into Douala and out of Douala. Now you have all of those wonderful roads and then you most probably don’t have the access roads to it to make the traffic continue otherwise you would have stopped a bottleneck here and created another one on one side or the other. But if you listened to the President and the Government Delegate to the Douala City council, you would have heard that there is this program that has even existed before the bridge which they are going to also execute still financed by the French Development Cooperation. It involves opening the West end of Douala and the East end of Douala (the road from Douala to Yaounde.) You would have noticed at village which is the East end that there have already moved people out of the road and widened it and there are also going to open up the West end; that is the side to Bonaberi. So the bridge will be on while those other projects will be going on. Otherwise it will be useless having a bridge without creating the roads that way. So up to Bikoko for example, the lanes will be opened up to Bikoko, by the time you are splitting your traffic to the Southwest or to the West, you could have had the traffic flow properly.
You are the board chair of the Douala Ports Authority. How do you think the construction of this bridge will help activities at the Douala Ports, especially as you are involved in heavy duty activities?
When the President of the Republic appointed us a few months ago, me and the General Manager; Mr Etoundi Oyono, he gave us an assignment to reduce the time that goods stay at the ports. We have made a lot of effort on that front. We had also to make sure that dredging was done at the proper prices which we have also been able to do. Equally we had to make sure that we can refill the coffers as it used to be which we have also done. We succeeded in getting out goods in good time in collaboration with the ‘guichette unique’ or the one-stop-shop and then the customs office also because all does not only depend on us. It depends on the transit companies, it depends on the customs, it depends on the one-stop-shop, what they call in French ‘guichette unique.’ But we have done all those efforts and reduced the time tremendously. But there was a problem; sometimes you get out goods and there will go and stay in Yassa on the East end for long because of traffic congestion. Sometimes the drivers just don’t move out, they wait till it is night; so they waste the whole day…..sometimes if something happened on a single bridge, then you can be there for two days and they wouldn’t be able to drive out. So with this new opportunity now, I think that goods are going to flow into the hinterlands properly. Countries that we play transit for them like the Central African Republic and Chad would be able to profit from all of this. The Bonaberi road is the most used road in all of Cameroon, you wouldn’t believe it but that is how it is. When they take goods out of the Douala Ports, there are seven regions of Cameroon that use that road and that bridge to carry goods, so it makes 7 and 3 countries; that is, Cameroon itself, Chad, and the Central African Republic. Today that you have this bridge, traffic is going to be able to flow out of and into Douala easily. There is also a program the President unveiled, and the road is already being done, the Foumban-Ngaoundere road. If this road is finally done, because they are presently doing some patches, it will ease traffic flow alot. I had the privilege my company did some bridges on that road also and they are doing it. By the time it is done, travelling from Douala through Bafoussam, Foumban then to Ngaoundere and finally to Chad or the Central African Republic or to go to the Far North; North and Adamawa would be faster than going back through Yaounde to pass through the East. You see that if you did that road and you didn’t prepare Bonaberi properly, then all the goods that you are getting out of the ports will still have to go back through Yaounde. So those are the things that we at the ports are so happy about, because now we can work and be sure that the goods will go in time. Because what is important to an importer from Central African Republic is when the goods finally get to Bangui. The importer is not interested that we got it out of the ports in 2 or 3 days. So if we got the goods out even in one day and they spent another 2 days at the Bonaberi Bridge because there was a problem or in Yassa, for him goods are still not flowing properly and that is very bad for the transit country that we are.
From what you are saying, definitely the construction of the bridge will have an impact on the cost of goods and services
Tremendously, they have been people who have slept in Douala town while they are living in Bonaberi just because there was a problem on the bridge. The construction of this bridge is a tremendous thing, it is so much money but you know for things that have to be for seventy-five (75) to one hundred (100) years, you have to do it. We are doing it for posterity. We are spending a lot of money but if you go to do the calculation of people who are going to spend less fuel, wasting time waiting to cross the bridge, sooner or later the bridge would have faded off. So I think that it is a wonderful thing that happened to us. Unfortunately we don’t always have money to do all those things. There are lots and lots of things that we could still do for Cameroon but we are not going to do all of them at the same time. When I say we, I am talking about us Cameroonians because me I am just a citizen like you, I am just talking about us achieving for ourselves.
Culled from Cameroon Calling, CRTV

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

‘Cameroon, Herakles land lease signature is an alarming development’- Greenpeace, Oakland Institute Say

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Following three separate presidential decress signed yesterday by president Paul Biya awarding the American agribusinnness company Herakles Farms a three year provisional land lease to develop a palm oil plantation in the South West region of the country, Greenpeace Africa and the Oakland Institute have issued a joint release saying they are alarmed by the decision of the cameroon government.
Irene Wabiwa

Though alarmed by the decision, civil society organisations acknowledge that the move disproves Herakles Farms’ claim that it had all the necessary permits from the start, and confirms that the company has in fact been operating illegally for more than three years.
 The project, originally envisaged to cover more than 70,000 hectares but with a provisional land lease now accorded for approximately 20,000 hectares, has been dogged by controversy from the beginning. Work and forest clearing has been conducted in violation of national law, despite fierce local opposition, and would destroy a forested area of vital biodiversity surrounded by protected areas. 
“A downsized project does not resolve the problems related to the palm oil project by Herakles Farms,” said Irène Wabiwa, forest campaigner with Greenpeace Africa. “It simply remains the wrong project in the wrong place, as the impact on communities’ livelihoods and the forests remain unacceptable.”
“The opaque and illegal manner in which the project has been carried out demonstrates the threats to Africa's forests if operations like this are allowed to proceed unchecked.”
According to the release, by signing a provisional land lease, the Cameroonian government is also putting at risk a partnership with the European Union and Germany, who have a long standing relationship with the Cameroon government to help protect biodiversity and promote good governance in the forest sector.
“The Cameroonian government has shot itself in the foot with this decision.  They are making it clear that under the guise of “investment” virtually anyone can get away with illegal activities in the country and even be rewarded for it. It will be the government itself and the Cameroonian people who lose out from this,” said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director, the Oakland Institute.
International palm oil companies and investors are increasingly targeting Africa for new projects. The Herakles Farms plantation, if not stopped, would set a bad and dangerous precedent for this type of large-scale plantation development in the region. 
The signatories of the release hold that the Government of Cameroon could still make a better choice, by stopping the Herakles Farms project and adopting clear safeguards for palm oil development in its national policies.
Finally, Greenpeace is calling on palm oil companies and investors to commit to zero deforestation policies that protect Africa’s forests and the livelihoods of the people who live there. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

‘Our MP is Ngala Gerard, We Shall Use Him as Such’-Paul Ngabir

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Militants of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) in the Donga Mantung I, Nkambe section all joined their comrades nationwide on
Wednesday November 6, 2013 to celebrate the 31st anniversary of president Biya’s ascension to the supreme magistracy.
Unlike in previous editions where militants from all the subsections had to move to Nkambe town, local CPDM party officials of the Donga Mantung I section decentralized celebration centers; militants in Nkambe town and its environs celebrated at the community hall in Nkambe, Binka at the Binka Market square, Tabenken at the Tabenken market square and Wat at the Wat Market square etc.

But why should they celebrate?

According to the Mayor-elect of the Nkambe council, Ngabir Paul Bantar, President Biya’s 31 years at the helm of the state has been crowned with many achievements that should be celebrated.
Without being exhaustive, the mayor said president Biya came to power in 1982 when Cameroon had only one state university and today the country can boast of eight thanks to President Paul Biya. “The biometric voter registration that has been introduced in Cameroon has given credibility to our electoral process. The September 30 twin elections were free, fair, and transparent, thanks to the biometric system”, Mr Ngabir said.
As said by the mayor, president Biya’s 31years at the helm of the state has also been characterized by political pluralism, decentralization of power to local collectivities, intensification of fight against corruption, and over and above all the recovery of the disputed oil-rich Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria which to him “is called a world class achievement”.

Enter the section President

Speaking earlier, the acting CPDM section president for Donga Mantung I, Nkambe central, Taa’Nformi Ngala Gerard on behalf of the militants  heartily congratulated the Head of State for his 31 years of reign which the interim section president described as “31years of foresight and enlightened leadership that has made Cameroon an island of peace in war-torn and turbulent Africa”.
Gerard Addressing Militants in Tabenken
Ngala Gerard who was making his first public speech in his capacity as section president used the opportunity to thank all the militants and sympathizers of the CPDM for their support at the last September 30 twin elections; a support the acting CPDM section president said came as a result of President Biya’s greater realization policy.
“This resulted in us taking over the Nkambe council from the hands of the opposition that has been depriving our beloved council area a fair share of the national cake”, he said.
The acting section president revealed that the support has already started yielding fruits; “as you must have head, a tender has been launched for the tarring of the Nkambe council market and streets around the market, the Tabenken-Binshua-Nkambe road and streets around Binju, the residential area of the SDO will soon be graded”.

The Euphoria in Tabenken

From Nkambe, local CPDM party executive of the Donga Mantung I section led by the section president moved to Tabenken where an epic crowd of CPDM militants, supporters and sympathizers gathered to celebrate the 31st anniversary.
Addressing the crowd, Nkambe mayor-elect, Paul Ngabir said “we came to present your son, Ngala Gerard to you in his capacity as section president of the CPDM in Donga Mantung I on this very solemn occasion of the 31st anniversary of our Head of state’s ascension to power”.
Mr Ngabir explained to his party comrades in Tabenken that Ngala Gerard brought in the magic touch in the CPDM to emerge victorious at the last September 30 twin elections in Nkambe central and though Ngala Gerard hasn’t gone to parliament, the CPDM won the Nkambe council thanks to him. Thus after his (Ngabir Paul) election as mayor of the Nkambe council on October 16, “in consultation with the central committee of the CPDM, I handed over the section president post to Ngala Gerard, all sub section presidents will be given endorsement letter from the central committee”, the Nkambe mayor-elect said.
Ngabir (with a mic) presenting his Deputy
He reminded the population of Tabenken that legally, Hon Awudu Mbaya is their parliamentarian but legitimately he does not represent the people of Nkambe central for they did not elect him was.
“Our MP is Ngala Gerard and we shall use him as such to convey our message to the head of state, chairman of the CPDM party”, the mayor declared amidst thunderous applauds.
Taking the queue, the “parliamentarian”, Ngala Gerard expressed special thanks to the population of Tabenken who he believes brought the CPDM victory in Nkambe at the last September 30 twin elections. “The CPDM won in all the 12 polling stations in Tabenken both for the legislative and municipal. We won in Nkambe central, despite the fact that I am not in parliament, I will still do what I would have done while there. You people gave me the confidence and I will not fail you”.
The Donga Mantung I CPDM section president told his party comrades that immediately the results of the elections were released, though he was not going to parliament, he went to work “and the results are clear; the Nkambe council market and streets around it will be tarred, the Tabenken-Binshua-Nkambe road and streets around Binju will be graded”.

Separate constituency asked

In a motion of support and encouragement addressed to the Head of the State on the occasion, CPDM militants of Donga Mantung I vowed to sensitize and educate sympathizers and supporters to stand solidly behind president Biya and all that he stands for, called on the people of Donga Mantung especially Nkambe central to jealously protect the peace, stability and social cohesion of their beloved Cameroon and appealed to the Head of State and chairman of the CPDM party to grant Nkambe central a separate constituency as they promised to unconditionally and unreservedly keep the CPDM party flame burning in the Donga Mantun I section amongst others.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Renovation: STV’s Amy Banda Re-introducing “Good Morning Cameroon Show”

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-In an interview with NewsWatch, Amy says she faces both internal and external challenges. The 'girl who raps', as Amy is fondly called by some viewers also talks about the appreciation of her audience and her eloquent display of speech patterns. She spoke to Ndi Eugene Ndi. Excerpts
NewsWatch: What are the challenges you are facing in reintroducing a long forgotten program?
Amy on GMC

Amy Banda: The challenges I encounter re-launching an almost forgotten wake up show which inspired every other morning show in Cameroon and other parts of the continent are enormous from both internal and external forces. After three failed attempts from a new, young and dynamic team, my employer thought it wise identifying me with the crew because of the belief he has in my prowess. This alone has been a thorn in my flesh but since we have an audience to build and I am one who hates to fail, especially when promises come in, I stood my ground. After giving Cameroonians interesting discoveries on the GMC and taking a two year break, these peaceful nationals broke ties with STV's Morning hours and attached themselves to other media organs. This alone is another difficulty, having to entice them with new mind-blowing tips and slots presented by new faces such that what they see on the STV between the hours of 7 and 9am every weekday will dissuade their interest elsewhere and have them glued to our signals. However these and more challenges (some you see live on screen and I must not come back on) are major but not impossible issues to handle.
NewsWatch: What is the appreciation of your audience?
Amy Banda: With the turnout of the guest profile on the show every 10 Minutes after 8am and Facebook reactions, we can boast of the fact that we are winning our lost audience. The feedback from the audience on issues treated on traffic by Sanders Mbangue, Lifestyle tips by ClaurettaEyong and MireilleSiapje, Eye on the Planet with Violet Mesape, Press Review by Marc Jiofack, Culture by SeraphineEloh, health by Dora Eboa, Sports by either MakedaLydie G.-DipitaTongo - Willy Kak, Job offers by KennaKuma and the News by Cynthia Acha and Leila ReineNganzeu, gives us reason to amplify the tonus for greater results. You know, it gives us joy to know that we bless at least a life with our package every Morning on the GMC show.
NewsWatch: What interests you most about your talk show, GMC?
Amy Banda: The show is a lively daily that sets the pace of every viewer's day. We try to appease minds with inspirational topics, settle conflicts with a pack of information, feed the mind with knowledge and give everyone an opportunity to share a dream vision with us. It might just set the pace for others to emulate, you know. Our interest is to encourage broken minds, inform lawless people, highlight authorities of certain issues plaguing growth and have them talk on well defined strategies to curb vices and promote virtue, and most of all in everything we do, make the difference. It is a new team, with a new edge, zeal and will, to create new feelings and impact in our society.
NewsWatch: Many of your audience say you’ve lost touch of your local context in the way you speak, your accent …, what do you think?
Amy Banda: How come I have lost touch with my local audience? Is it the same audience which enjoys my eloquent display of speech patterns? Is it the same audience which identifies me with Christiane AMANPOUR, Oprah Winfrey and other Media Moguls on the International Media landscape? They couldn't be on the CNN or BBC and enjoy my colleagues do their duty every day and say otherwise of me. This is a question which makes me ponder on whether or not we are ready to accept and celebrate ours. We must learn to identify and recognize ours else we will truly end up being heroes elsewhere than our homeland, which is of no good to us as peaceful patriots in our fatherland, willing to reach for the greatest heights.
Published in NewsWatch Newspaper N° 004-Sept. 9, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Civil Society Walks Out Of Warsaw Climate Talks

Below is a press release from Friends of the Earth International
WARSAW, POLAND, November 21, 2013 – Today, one day before the planned conclusion of the Warsaw UN climate talks, hundreds of individuals from all continents representing social movements, trade unions and non-governmental organizations – including Friends of the Earth International - walked out of the UN climate conference in protest.
“Polluters and corporations dominated this conference with their empty talk, so we walked out in protest. Polluters talk, we walk,” said Jagoda Munic, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International.
“While people around the world are paying with their lives and livelihoods, and the risk of runaway climate change draws closer, we simply could not sit by this egregious inaction. Corporate profits should not come before peoples' lives,” said Jagoda Munic.
“People and communities around the world who are already implementing climate-safe, local energy systems are the real climate leaders. Together, we must now apply political pressure so that our governments follow these leaders instead of the corporate polluters,” she added.
Friends of the Earth International witnessed at these talks outrageous inaction by developed country governments – and in particular the 'Dirty Four': Australia, Canada, Japan and the US.
Meanwhile, the Polish host government actively helped corporate polluters such as coal companies to influence the talks. The European Union also disappointed, with only minimal ambition and insufficient climate finance proposals.
In Warsaw, industrialised countries’ governments did nothing to cut emissions or provide real finance to tackle climate change. In addition, they continued to avoid their responsibility to prevent climate catastrophe.
“Developed nations governments have been hijacked by corporate polluters and their positions prevented even a minimal progress of the talks. Developed country governments actions in Warsaw demonstrate that they are listening to polluters such as Shell and ArcelorMittal instead of their own people, said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator.
“We are calling on developed countries to go back home and listen to their own people. People all over the world demand urgent steps to agree an ambitious, binding and equitable international agreement on climate change. Now is the time to break free from our fossil fuel addiction and start a transformation towards sustainable and just societies,” she added.
The UN is the most democratic space to address the climate crisis. The UN climate talks are supposed to be making progress on implementing the agreement that world governments made in 1992 to stop man-made and dangerous climate change.
The agreement recognises that rich countries have done the most to cause the problem of climate change and should take the lead in solving it, as well as provide funds to poorer countries as repayment of their climate debt.
Friends of the Earth International
November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Peak Sex Seasons: February-March, Not December Alone!

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-Sex happens all the time and the risks are always there, yet certain periods are high risk seasons.
December has been universally acknowledged as the most risky season because of the end of year feasting and perhaps the socio-economic situation whereby, in order to meet up with the demands of the fanfare, some needy persons indulge in unseemly sexual activity to make ends meet. Hence, the World AIDS Day on December 1.
But if the authorities are not robots, if they have any sense of observation and can take initiatives, February-March would be set aside for significant Aids prevention campaigns. Those two months are about as risky as December, if not more.
The Youth Week and Valentine’s Day, both in February, make that month a season to watch. During Youth Week, official cultural activities and side events organized by youths expose young girls and boys to risky sex.
Unlike Xmas and New Year when outings could be a family affair with mum and dad coming along, at Youth Week it is everyone for them selves, each to their own school program, each to return homes is done. And see how they dress on such occasions: mini-skirts and tight knickers of most provocative cuts, up to the butt line.
And right on the heels of Youth Week (Youth Day is February 11), comes Valentine’s Day (February 14) when the craze to be ‘a la mode’ makes people ‘fall in love’ with someone they do not love, just to count in the number. And they indulge in sex because if they had a partner courting them over time, Valentine’s Day is the day to prove that love by conceding the thing most sought after.
And then, hardly a month after, is the International Women’s Day (March 8) when some women who cannot afford the Women’s Day fabric and accompanying dress compliments (shoes, handbag, etc), use what they have to get what they need, lest they look like incapable women in the eyes of others.
It is the same season when wayward women and some wives, prove to their husbands that part of gender equality is their freedom to go with other men. And the sex infection risks cannot be over-emphasized.
But has anyone witnessed any intensified Aids prevention campaign at these seasons? Robots at the appropriate quarters are waiting for December, not really to save humanity, but to fulfill the calendar and justify often embezzled expenditure.

Culled from This is News, article written by Franklin Sone Bayen , March 2010.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Uproar in Sasse: Form 5 Student slaughters Senior!

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-A form five student of St Joseph’s College Sasse in the Southwest Region of Cameroon is under police custody after he was arrested in connection to the murder of a lower sixth student of the same institution, the state radio reported this morning.
According to the school officials, yesterday Sunday, the students were out for sports and the form five student, Ojong realized the deceased student was putting on his short, when he asked the lower sixth student to give it back, he refused claiming he will only give it back when deemed necessary.
This led to a fight which was later separated by the dormitory captain. The deceased student later realized that what he did was not correct and decided to walk up to the form five student to ask for forgiveness.
The Form five student thought he was still coming to attack him and since they were just from the refectory and still with their cutleries, he took his knife and stabbed Bryan Ebenson on the stomach.
Bryan Ebenson was rushed to the Mount Marie Hospital in Buea, chief town of the Southwest Region where he gave up the ghost.
Ojong, the assailant and the deceased, Bryan Ebenson it is alleged are both orphans and hail from Kumba in the Meme division of the Southwest Region.
Investigations have been opened into the matter by local law enforcement officers while the alleged assailant is currently under police custody.
According to the State radio, people were very surprised; some think it is an isolated case while others think it is a pointer to the fact that there is something wrong with the discipline of the school.
However, Father Peter Nuck, principal of the school made it clear that discipline was tight.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi with inputs from CRTV

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UBa: Boy impregnates three Girls

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-On Thursday November 5, 2013, there was ruction at a student residence in the University of Bamenda (UBa). Three UBa students are said to have stormed the room of a boy whose names I have just forgotten, accusing him of haven impregnated them. According to eye witnesses, the boy’s room was almost turned into a free for all boxing field.
Prof. Tafah Edokat, VC of UBa

Alerted, the forces of law and order rushed to the scene to stop the almost already free for all fight. One of the girls told gendarmerie officers that she was three months pregnant for the boy while the other two said they were four months pregnant each for the same boy. Both the boy and the girls are all students of that Anglo-Saxon university that is located in Bambilli, Tubah subdivision of the North West Region.
Meantime, as the university has just reopened for the 2023/2014 academic year, there is an out cry amongst students as some feymen who have transformed themselves into authorities of the university are reported to have duped a good number of freshmen and collected their fees.
The University of Bamenda was created by Decree n° 2010/371 of the 14th December 2010. The last of the eight state Universities in Cameroon as primary concern, to achieve the goals attributed to all the state Universities which include, teaching, research and outreach.
The above situation is nonetheless very common in most schools in Bamenda every September.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Immunity is Never Synonymous to Impunity- Enow Tanjong Warns

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The eldest MP of the 9th legislature has told his colleagues that immunity is never synonymous to impunity. Enow Tanjong made the remark Tuesday October 29 in his inaugural speech of the 9th legislative period. The MP born in 1938 in Manyu also cautioned his colleagues to be people of reference, working in the interest of all Cameroonians.
The former Governor of the South West region is heading the provisional bureau of the National Assembly, with the two youngest MPs Zoubiantou Salihou and Solange Kwamba (both female) from the greater north region of Cameroon born in 1978, pending the election of the 23 member bureau.
Anglophones it has been observed in the last two legislative periods have been the eldest MPs. Enow Tanjong of the CPDM party takes over this mantle from Peter Cho Fonso of the SDF. Even at the Senate, an Anglophone Nfon Victor Mukete, 95 of the CPDM party is the eldest Senator.
During the short period as president of the provisional bureau of the Assembly, the eldest MP enjoys some advantages. He is entitled to a body guard, a retinue, a bigger space in the parliamentarian hotel where he receives guests and an allowance to entertain the latter.
The eldest MP chaired the session where all the 180 substantive MPs elected last September 30 received their attributes - a tri-color sash, an insignia, plus a cockade. The attributes confer on them the title “Honorable” plus all the advantages and the immunity which goes along with the attributes.
Cameroonian MPs who work for just 15 out of the 60 months in their five year mandate have a 5m F CFA micro project grant each year and a vehicle allowance among other advantages.
Real parliamentary business begins after the election of the 23 member bureau. Highly awaited is the new Speaker of the house. Speculations are rife that Cavaye Yeguie Djibril who has been Speaker since 1992 will be replaced by a woman. Unpredictable as he is, President Biya who chooses the House Speaker can still surprise speculators by maintaining Cavaye as Speaker.

 Published in NewsWatch N° 006

SOCAM: NdediEyango is New Board Chair

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The Cameroon Music Author’s Rights Corporation, SOCAM has a new board chair. Ndedi Eyango, a very popular Cameroonian musician was elected at an extraordinary general assembly of the association in Yaounde last Saturday November 2. He replaces Odile Ngaaska who was relieved of her functions this year before the end of her mandate next year due to financial and managerial lapses.
Eyango Replaces Odile Ngaska
Six candidates were vying for the coveted post: Ateh Francis, Parole Sosthene, Romeo Dika, Bienvenue Mbega and Moussa Haissam. During the first round of voting, Ndedi Eyango grabbed over 200 votes but though he did not obtain an absolute majority, his contestants gave up the fight during the second round of voting resulting in his victory.
In a meeting with Ama Tutu MUNA, the minister of Culture ahead of the election, the artists came to a consensus to use a single ballot paper during the election, reject voting by proxy, and to accept the verdict of the poll which Abah Oyono President of the Mediation Commission of Author’s Rights Corporation in Cameroon, the chief electoral officer of the election promised to make free, fair and transparent.
Ndedi Eyango, who runs the production house PREYA MUSIC and has produced many Cameroonian artists, like Longue Longue and Jacky KINGUE, during his campaign promised transparency in the management of SOCAM, fair distribution of rights and unity among artists.

Hotel Des Deputes:145 Rooms for 180 MPs

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The Yaoundé hotel where MPs reside when they are in session has 145 rooms for the 180 MPs in Cameroon. Management of the hotel constructed since 1952 with just 54 rooms say they have never faced a situation where all the 180 MPs express the desire to be lodged in the hotel, but that were such a situation to arise, they will arrange for rooms in other Yaoundé hotels near the national assembly.
'Hotel Des Deputes' has just 145 Rooms
They add that MPs who are members of the bureau of the national assembly have government houses in Yaoundé, and some MPs like those of Yaoundé do not like to be lodged in the hotel.
The 145 rooms in the hotel were constructed in 1981for the then 120-member National Assembly. Since membership in the assembly rose to 180, the hotel has not been refurbished, and with the probability of an increase in the number of MPs in Cameroon’s parliament, there is need for an increase in the rooms at the Parliamentarian Hotel.
The hotel renders classic services at affordable rates to MPs during their stay in Yaoundé. While MPs are in recess, the hotel receives other clients.
Wagging tongues say it is mostly ordinary MPs who take up rooms in the hotel; well to do MPs book for other big hotels in town during their stay in Yaoundé.

Far North: 1000 Die of Malaria

(NewsWatch Cameroon)-The upsurge of malaria in the Far North region has been attributed to the people not using mosquito nets. In a meeting with health officials of the region chaired by Andre Mama Fouda, the Minister of Public Health, it was disclosed that only 30 percent of the population use the mosquito bed net which is one of the weapons of choice against malaria.
Mama Fouda confirmed that close to 1000 persons have died and over 200 000 cases of the endemic disease have been recorded.
Far Northerners Ignore Mosquito Bed Nets
Health structures in the region are too small to contain the huge influx of patients causing others to receive treatment sleeping under trees and on bare floors in hospitals.
Malaria remains the greatest health problem in Cameroon and Africa South of the Sahara as a whole.
The statistics of the malaria scourge on the continent are startling. It is said that malaria kills one person on the continent every 30 seconds and cripples so many of its youth. Yearly, between 350 and 500 million people are infected with malaria, and over one million die from the disease. Economically, malaria has remained the bane of Africans as it has stunted the growth of most economies with the resultant effect of widespread poverty.
In Cameroon, the statistics are scaring. Malaria is the major public health problem that is responsible for 30 percent of admissions in hospitals and 45 percent deaths in health units. It also represents 42 percent of the morbidity of children aged less than five. 26 percent of sick leaves by civil servants and other workers in the country are also due to malaria, while households lose 40 percent of their annual incomes to the treatment of the disease.
This bleak situation has been accentuated over the years by the overwhelming poverty in the country which makes it difficult for most people to effectively treat themselves.