There’s a popular saying that “It is not how many years you live, but what you did with the years you lived.”
The west-central African state of Cameroon proved this saying on May 20, 2016 on the occasion of its 44th Independence Day when its embassy near Monrovia displayed major projects that government has undertaken, completed or is in the process of completing.
At a local hotel where Cameroonians organized a program marking their National Day, a number of projects including hydro-electric systems, hospitals and roads were displayed on placards to give guests a sense of the Cameroonian government’s level of social responsibility to its people.
According to information on the placards, the Paul Biya led administration has undertaken and completed the Yaoundé Hospital for Applied Research in Endoscopic Surgery and Human Production. The project was dedicated on May 6, 2016.
Another project completed and in operation is the Deep-Sea Port at Kribi, which Ambassador Beng’ Yela Augustine Gang said helps to connect Cameroon with the rest of West Africa in sea trade and commerce.
There are also projects including the second bridge on the Wouri River in Douala (not completed) and the Mekin Hydroelectric Dam project to be completed next month. Others are the 211 Mega Watt Lom-Payangar Hydroelectric Dam and the Memre’ele Hydroelectric Dam both predicted for completion in 2017, and a major completed highway connecting Cameroon and Nigeria.
In his National Day address, Ambassador Gang said the projects are local content, which he explained to be characterized by using the locals to do most of the work.
He said as a result of the use of locals in constructing these major projects, citizens are not only employed and financially empowered, but also consider the projects as theirs.
He added that prioritizing citizens in work like those carried out in Cameroon helps to prevent conflict, emphasizing that it is very important to put the people of a country in the middle of the economy.
The Cameroonian Ambassador explained that the electricity projects will help to provide electricity to many citizens and companies, and those companies will be able to provide employment opportunities for the citizens and engage in delivering locally produced goods and services.
Ambassador Gang urged that governments must provide education for their citizens and provide employment opportunities for youths to divert their minds from terrorism to responsible livelihoods.
As Cameroonians embark on these projects and feel their impacts, Ambassador Gang noted that they are joining efforts with other neighbors to counter the attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram.
With respect to the road project between Nigeria and Cameroon, Ambassador Gang said it solidifies the cooperation and relationship between the two countries, and citizens of both countries are easily able to travel from one country to the other.
Cameroon and Nigeria were once in a major land conflict over the Bakassi Peninsula. In 2007, the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Cameroon over the peninsula.
Ambassador Gang recalled that in 1960, when his country gained independence, President William V.S. Tubman was one person that recognized Cameroon’s independence on the basis of mutual respect and patrimony.
Among top government officials that attended the ceremony was Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara, who dated Liberia’s relations with Cameroon during that country’s period of trusteeship.
Minister Kamara emphasized that Liberia and Cameroon also share common interests at the level of the United Nations and support each other in decision making.
She commended Cameroon for being with Liberia during the devastating Ebola health crisis that struck Liberia in 2014.
She pledged Liberia’s support to soliciting assistance to help curb the terroristic activities affecting Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger.