Thursday, November 26, 2015

Education:Kadji Defosso Foundation Promotes Excellence

Yaounde, Cameroon—The Douala based humanitarian organization; Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation has rewarded some outstanding schools in Cameroon with cash prizes worth over CFA 15 Million (about 24,300USD).
 The foundation also compensated some teachers with modern equipment for research like laptops and other didactic materials.
 The donation ceremony in the Cameroon capital Yaounde on Saturday November 21 was the hallmark of the second edition of the Foundation’s “Quality Back to School” campaign.
Secretary of State in MINESEC handing over  cheque to principal of 'Jean Tabi'
Beneficiary schools were those that distinguished themselves with excellent results at the Baccalaureat examinations (equivalent of the GCE Advanced level) for the 2013/2014 school year.
According to a classification by the ‘Bac Board’ (Equivalent of the GCE Board), ‘College Jean Tabi’ and ‘College Vogt’ in Yaounde all occupied the first and second positions on the general classification Table of the ‘Bac Exams’ for 2013/2014 academic year while ‘College Liberman’ in Douala was third.
They all received cheques of FCFA 3.5M, 2M and 1M respectively from the Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation.
Other schools that registered improvement in their results like GHTS Akwa in Douala, GBHS Ngomedzap in the Center region and GBHS Ndop in the Northwest region also backed home millions of CFA francs from the foundation.
Speakers at ceremony
The president of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation, Lucie Sangam said by choosing to support and encourage teachers and secondary education institutions in the country, the objective of the humanitarian foundation’s quality education drive is to build a brighter future for young Cameroonians.
“Our objective has always been to promote quality education in Cameroon and the founding president of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation thought that we could do it by encouraging educational institutions and the hardworking teachers,” Lucie Sangam said.

Madam Lucie Sangam handing over cheque
The Managing Director of Union Camerounaise de Brasseries (UCB), Ajewole Ikeola Adebayo pledged his company’s continues support to the Foundation’s goal of providing quality education to Cameroonians.
“Essentially this is a foundation that is actually interested in guaranteeing tomorrow. We strongly believe that as users of resources; there is nothing as having good resources and you can only have good resources with good training, so we are using this opportunity to invest on education because the investment on education is what can guarantee a better future,” Ajewole Ikeola said.
The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education in Charge of Teacher Training, Boniface Bayaola who chaired the ceremony said quality education depends on the quality of teachers and those who were
“This initiative should be encouraged and laud the efforts of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation and wishes that it should extend such initiatives to other sectors,” the member of government said.
Boniface Bayaola rejoiced that with such gestures from humanitarian organizations like Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation, there is brighter future for Cameroonian youths for as he puts it, “a country cannot develop if her youths are poorly trained.”
To the schools and teachers who were compensated, the member of government urged them to use their prizes as a source of more inspiration.
“The prizes should not take you to slumber, it rather serve as a call to responsibility and assignment,” Boniface Bayaola urged.
Boniface Bayaola flanked by UCB GM and President of Kadji Foundation
The best upper sixth teachers of Limbe Comprehensive, PSS Fiango Kumba in the Southwest region and Sacred Heart College Mankon in Bamenda all received laptops which the president of the foundation said were to facilitate their research as they continue to impact knowledge on young Cameroonians.
Speaking on behalf of the heads of educational institutions rewarded, the principal of Jean Tabi College was full of thanks to the Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation  saying “teachers need this encouragement everyday and this foundation has understood this.”

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cameroon Activist Sentenced For Opposing ‘American Land Grabber’

Mundemba, Cameroon—Award-winning Cameroon activist and director of a local nongovernmental organization, Nasako Besingi would serve three years in jail following a suit by SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SG-SOC), a subsidiary of the American firm, Herakles Farms.
The director of Struggle to Economize our Future Environment (SEFE) was last Wednesday November 4, 2015 convicted by a court in Mundemba in the Southwest region of Cameroon.
Locals of Nguti protesting against SGSOC
In 2013, the frontline campaigner against the Herakles Farms Cameroon project was sued by the latter and two of its former employees for “publication of false news via the internet.” The judgment was handed down after several adjournments in recent months.
According to the verdict described by other rights activists as ‘heavy,’ Nasako Bisingi was charged to pay a fine of FCFA 1million or serve a three years jail. He was also posed to pay damages of FCFA 10 million to the two civil parties and costs of about FCFA 200,000 within 24 hours.

Appeal On Questionable Evidence

Nasako’s lead counsel, Barrister Adolf Malle, said he was surprised by the conviction of his client, promising he would appeal the decision ‘based on most questionable evidence.’
Nasako Besingi has been working alongside other activists and local organizations to protect people’s rights and preserve forests in the Ndian division of the country where the New York based agro industrial company through its Cameroon subsidiary, SGSOC is developing a ‘controversial’ oil palm plantation.
Nasako Besingi has been sued and arrested several times since the installation of the Herakles Farms Company (SGSOC) in the Southwest region, because of his denunciation of violations of the law by the agro industrial firm.
The American agro industrial firm started operations (clearing, road opening and creation of nurseries) before obtaining a legal land title, which constitutes a violation of Cameroonian land law.
The opposition of communities, challenging the legality of the presence of the company on their land and who in their vast majority, condemned this attempt to ‘grab their land,’ led to numerous conflicts with the company.

Desire To Intimidate Environmental Activists

Environmentalists in Cameroon have described the conviction of Nasako Besingi, as a ‘desire to intimidate environmental activists,’ in a context marked by the proliferation of investments in land and natural resources, which strongly encroach on village land.
 “The massive influx of investors in the exploitation of land and natural resources can lead to more conflicts of this nature, and it is important that the administration and justice in our country be prepared to manage these tensions,” said Mr. Samuel Nguiffo director of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) Cameroon.
 “Failure to comply with the law when installing SGSOC Company in the Southwest has been the source of many problems, and the Government must learn from this experience,” Nguiffo added.
In a release, CED said the sentence sends a worrying signal to communities defending their lands and resources faced with activities of multinational companies. It also urged that the activist be granted appeal for his right to a fair trial.
“This case shows us the importance of natural resources management policies which should include better protection of Human Rights and consider customary rights of communities”, Apollin Koagne, coordinator of ‘Verdir;’ an E.U  project  that aims at Greening the respect Human Rights in the Congo Basin.”
Nasako’s organization, Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE) won the first prize of the TAIGO awards in 2012 for its frontline campaign against the New York- based Cameroon palm oil Project in Ndian.
The activist led a campaign that highlighted the issue of land grabbing in Cameroon, absence of prior consultation of local communities, resulting to Herakles withdrawal of an application for membership into of the Kuala Lumpur-based Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
By Ndi Eugene Ndi