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Cameroon National Day

Pretoria, 21st May 2018

H.E. Adrien Kouambo J. High Commissioner of Cameroon to the Republic of South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate Cameroon's 46th Anniversary of its National Day.

The theme for the celebration this year was: “Cameroonian Citizens, let us remain united in diversity and preserve social peace, for a stable, indivisible and prosperous Cameroon”.

High Commissioner Kouambo said that it should be noted that growing a strong economy, creating of jobs and the improving of the living standards of Cameroonians remains primordial in government policy.  In order to ensure the above, necessary measures have been taken to improve the business climate in the country so that investments can be attracted. He also said that Democratic institutions and process in Cameroon have just recently been strengthened with the appointment of members of the Constitutional Council. Its first seating took place in March 2018 when it homologated the process and results of the Senatorial elections.

Speech by H.E.Adrien Kouambo J. High Commissioner of Cameroon to the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of Cameroon’s National Day - 20th May 2018

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to welcome you to the celebration of the 46th anniversary of our National Day which is dedicated to the commemoration of the Unitary State.

I would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for honouring our invitation, in spite of your numerous engagements.

Special thanks are addressed to Mr William JIYANA who is here to represent the Government of South Africa. This of course is an illustration of the excellent relations that so happily exist between our two countries.

The theme for the celebration this year is: “Cameroonian Citizens, let us remain united in diversity and preserve social peace, for a stable, indivisible and prosperous Cameroon”.

The Republic of Cameroon celebrates its National Day on May 20. It commemorates the creation of a Unitary State in 1972.

Cameroon was a German colony (German Cameroon) from 1884 to 1919. When Germany was defeated in the First World War, the colony became a League of Nations mandate territory. It was divided into two parts: British Cameroons and French Cameroun. In 1946, the mandates were converted into UN Trust Territories.

French Cameroun proclaimed its independence in 1960. About a year and a half later, the Southern part of British Cameroons merged with the newly created Republic. Thus the Federal Republic of Cameroon was established.

In 1972, a new constitution was adopted, following a referendum held on May 20. It abolished the federal system of government and replaced the federation with a unitary state. The new unitary country was originally called the United Republic of Cameroon, but in 1984 the Republic obtained its current name.

As the country does not have a unique date of independence, the anniversary of the 1972 referendum was declared as National Day of Cameroon.

 Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The commemoration of our national day today takes place in a particular context both in Cameroon and South Africa.

Cameroon as any young nation, has continued to chart its course towards a modern, democratic, prosperous and united country despite challenges.

Building a strong and indivisible state continues to be the priority of our President and his Government, and that is why no effort has been spared to ensure not only the integrity of our country but also the unity and oneness of its people.

It is against this backdrop that as guarantor of the fundamental values of the Republic and of the harmonious functioning of the institutions of the state, the Head of State and Government have continued to seek solutions to problems affecting the people through several forms of dialogue; particularly in addressing the socio-political situation in the North West and South West Regions of our country.

This above all because some violent acts from some separatists belonging to a movement called << the Ambazonia governing council>> are frequently registered in those regions. Some leaders of the said organization who were residing in the neighboring country Nigeria were arrested by the Nigeria Security officials and extradited to Cameroon. The Nigeria government and other friendly countries declared that they are categorically against pro-secessionist activities. These countries affirmed that they will give their total collaboration in order to reinforce and safeguard the territorial integrity of Cameroon. Also, the Cameroon government has been taking appropriate measures to gradually and methodically eradicate this inconvenient situation.

Still in the field of internal insecurity, you are quite aware that since 2014, Cameroon has been fighting a military campaign against the terrorist group called BOKO haram. The fight continues and is presently under a better control by the security forces. The collaboration of the Republics of Nigeria, Chad and Niger is highly appreciated.       

In another key area, it should be noted that growing a strong economy, creating of jobs and the improving of the living standards of our people remains primordial in government policy.  In order to ensure the above, necessary measures have been taken to improve the business climate in the country so that investments can be attracted.

Democratic institutions and process in Cameroon have just recently be strengthened with the appointment of members of the Constitutional Council. Its first seating took place in March 2018 when it homologated the process and results of the Senatorial elections.

Also, the recent creation of a new Ministry in charge of Decentralization is a clear demonstration of the Government to ensure participation by the people in the management of local affairs.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also celebrating our National day in a period of great significance in South Africa’s history. Just a few examples.
-         If H.E. Nelson Mandela was alive, we will be celebrating his 100 years this year.
-         If H.E. Oliver Tambo, the chief diplomat was still leaving, he would be 101 years this year;
-    If the Right Honorable Walter SISULU was still alive, he would be 106 years this year;
-         The passing of Mama Winnie Madizikela Mandela, mother of the nation who left an indelible mark in the history of the South African Nation. Our Head of State officially expressed his condolences and those of the Cameroonian people immediately after that painful ordeal;

 There has been a change of guard in the Union Buildings and our Head of State, H.E. President Paul BIYA expressed his heartfelt congratulations to H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa on his assumption of the very High Office.

As we celebrate the Africa Month, we continue to be concerned with the issues of instability, unemployment, famine, and poverty in the continent. Our continental and regional Organizations continue to spare no effort in addressing these pathetic situations. The reform process which the African Union has embarked on is very welcome and it is hoped that the ongoing consultations will produce concrete results that will make us proud of a strong organisation.

The signing of the Agreement to create a Continental Free Trade Area, brokered by the African Union in Kigali, on March 21, 2018, by 44 African Countries, is a major step towards a long-held dream of the African Union. It is estimated that this will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022. If ratified, the Agreement would result in the largest free-trade area in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

Cameroon was a signatory to this Agreement and remains committed to being an advocate of international cooperation and Solidarity, partnership, peace and security, democracy, governance, human rights, African renaissance, integration, as well as, those values that are crucial in the development of our continent.

We will also continue to play our role in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), with a view to promoting the effective economic integration of the sub region.

Excellence Monsieur le Doyen du Corps Diplomatique,
Leurs Excellences, Mesdames Messieurs
Chers sœurs et frères
Comment ne pas, à ce niveau de mon intervention saluer et cela à juste titre les récentes performances réalisées par l’Institution législative de l’Union Africaine par rapport à la gestion électorale, comme pour ainsi dire par rapport à la bonne gouvernance ; bonne gouvernance qui a été couronnée d’un succès vivant. C’est sans contexte une bonne porte ouverte sur l’avenir.
Il n’échappe justement pas qu’il y a une dizaine de jours, un Camerounais, l’Honorable Roger NKODO DANG Président sortant du Parlement Panafricain et candidat à sa propre succession a été confortablement réélu pour continuer de conduire le Parlement Panafricain pour un nouveau mandat de trois ans. Ceci constitue de manière éclatante une victoire additionnelle, une autre grande victoire pour la Diplomatie Africaine d’une part et pour la démocratie en Afrique d’autre part.
Ce m’est par conséquent une joie bien profonde de saisir cette précieuse occasion pour, au nom de S.E.M Paul BIYA, Président de la République du Cameroun, remercier tous les pays Africains qui ont fait preuve de dextérité, de tact, de doigté, de grande maturité, d’unité et de solidarité et qui ont démontré leur soutien spécial et actif au Président élu Roger Nkodo Dang et aux Vices-Présidents élus des pays frères et sœurs de la Tanzanie, du Mali et de l’Algérie.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests

At the level of relations between South Africa and Cameroon, I am happy to note that there has been remarkable progress during the past months, although not enough. However, the search for concrete implementation of cooperation agreements signed between the two countries since September 2006 is gaining some momentum. 

With the completion of our internal constitutional processes with regard to the ratification of the General Cooperation Agreement and the Memorandum on Economic Cooperation, the finalization of negotiations on the Agreement on cooperation in the field of Sports and Physical Education, as well as, the holding of the forthcoming Joint Trade Committee in Yaoundé this year, it is hoped that a new dawn has come in our bilateral relations. It is also a demonstration of the political will of our government to impulse new spirit in our relations.

We impatiently look forward to the long awaited Joint Commission with the hope that it will provide an opportunity for both parties to address ways and means of fast tracking relations between our two countries.

It will not be considered superfluous if we also express the wish to see contacts, at the highest level, between the two countries as one the ways to strengthen our bilateral relations.

At the level of the High Commission we remain committed, more than ever before, to ensure that our cooperation ties grow from strength to strength, so that together we can improve the living conditions of our people and forge greater avenues for a prosperous continent.

I now invite you raise your glasses so that we can drink: To the health of H.E Paul BIYA, President Cyril Ramaphosa and that of our brothers and sisters of the Republic of South Africa and Cameroon.

High Commission of Cameroon in South Africa

 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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June 2018

 
 
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