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« Aristide pushes for restitution from France | Main | Case of a Stolen Baby in Cameroon: Protest March in Support of Child's Mother »

Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Comments

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Ma Mary

Most people have read the story of Cameroun government defaulting on a lease with Harvard University that rented buildings to temporarily house the embassy. First of all, screw Harvard, which is using its massive endowment to buy off land in Africa. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/08/us-universities-africa-land-grab You know that is going to cause trouble not very long from now. Second of all, did people "eat" the money which was supposed to be used to renovate the embassy? They usually look for a way to cut corners and pocket the money. It is the abominable culture of the ruling class of that Gomorrrah.

 Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta

Screw Harvard! You said it well. It's not just universities. Western conglomerates are teaming up to divest Africa of all her natural resources, including land. Read this :http://wrm.org.uy/bulletin/165/Cameroon.htmlhttp://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=843:pre-election-reflection-cameroons-2011-presidential-elections&catid=42:election-reflection&Itemid=270">http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=843:pre-election-reflection-cameroons-2011-presidential-elections&catid=42:election-reflection&Itemid=270">http://wrm.org.uy/bulletin/165/Cameroon.htmlhttp://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=843:pre-election-reflection-cameroons-2011-presidential-elections&catid=42:election-reflection&Itemid=270

 Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta

oops! Try this:
http://af.reuters.com/article/cameroonNews/idAFL6E7IG02O20110717

Ma Mary

Why are Africans not getting together to demonstrate in these places to the refrain of ((hands off our land))? These investment funds which ruined the American economy have mountains of cash which they are using to buy American properties for cheap and African properties for even cheaper. People of the world must unite to end this kind of venal capitalism.

John Dinga

I just wonder what can make Cameroonians go on the streets to express their disgust the way Senegalese are doing, thanks to fillip offered a hiphop musician's composition depicting the 86-year-old sit-tight president to the world as one who stymies the progress of democcracy in the nation by taking advantage of a bogus court ruling made by his appointees. I wonder....

limbekid

Just thought it would be nice to throw in a positive story for a change. In the midst of all this self-flagellation such achievements go unnoticed.
http://naijanedu.com/young-african-arthur-zang-invents-touch-screen-medical-tablet-forbes/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXYDAxEahWs

I`m a firm believer in self-improvement.

Sometimes, even in an imperfect environment ground-breaking ideas can flourish.

J. S. Dinga

Fantastic! Ground-breaking indeed! But then is it not fair to also cite for acknowledgement the national institution where such a commendable work was carried ou? Reading paragraph 2 of the write-up I came across this statement: According to Zang, the Cardiopad is “the first fully touch screen medical tablet made in Cameroon and in Africa”. Where exactly in Cameroon?
Any way, back to Dr. Vakunta’s original topic of interest which is far from self-flagellation, there is no doubt that a major national get-together will face enormous obstacles, given the extent of fractionalization resulting from 30 years of divide-and-rule as a tool of governance. Even if by some magical or providential intervention the incumbent president had to leave the scene the way his illustrious predecessor did, it will require a near miracle to bring together anything close to the 1993 AAC at Buea’s Mount Mary Maternity. We are too divided for our own good.
His Excellency did his homework, aided by willing and able hands from within and out of the country who, having identified tribalism as the nation’s soft underbelly, quickly went to work, applying divide-and-rule to consolidate power from the center. He succeeded remarkably well. Tribalism remains our number one challenge in nation building. Those who have perfected divide-and-rule in governance are the worst type of parasites the nation has to cope with. Excuse the oxymoron “worst parasite”. By simple definition a parasite is any organism that lives at the expense of another, drawing nutrition from it as well as dumping its waste products in its body. A familiar example is the body or head louse which sucks human blood and dumps its noxious dejecta into the body of the parasitized human being who is then saddled with eliminating it. Some how the human person and body lice manage to coexist and survive together. Now, let us consider the malaria parasite, another germ that lives in the human body, sucks and utilizes blood quite extensively and then pours large quantities of waste products into his body provoking the familiar symptoms of chills and fever. We all know that malaria is the number one killer in Africa, responsible for the low life expectancy and high infant mortality.
The conclusion is inescapable that malaria is a very bad parasite. Those bad parasites
that have ruined the once buoyant nation called Cameroon are the biggest demons patriotic citizens will have to face. Recent revelations in WikiLeaks touched just the tip of a large iceberg. The upset English-speaking woman who was denied service by her French-speaking compatriot in the public service ministry, alleging “je ne comprends pas votre patois-la” is another. Even the well-behaved citizens of NWP and SWP are just tolerating each other for old times’ sake. People abuse the constitutional rights of fellow citizens with impunity and of course suffer no consequence. That is the challenge facing any attempt at national redemption and reconstruction.Won't it be nice if we could all just get along?

limbekid

To be fair to that young man, the title of his achievement is slightly misleading. What he has created is an application. Nonetheless, it is worthy of acknowledgement and praise.

Now why do I talk of "self flagellation"? A cursory glance at this forum in the last few days will bring up topics like: "Once upon a time Buea", "...stolen tea, stolen baby, football fiasco...", "Cameroon crisis..." "Tole tea striking workers". The topics all share the same theme - despair, despair, despair. Does that mean we should paint a glossy picture of Cameroon? No, but how does one reminisce about Buea, without acknowledging that the town now hosts the lone Anglophone university? Or doesn't that count as development?

My interpretation of the "Cameroon crisis", is that it is a synthesis of different crises: educational, cultural, political, economic...and as such should be tackled sectorally at different levels. A political debate alone cannot change Cameroon (my humble opinion). The best source of improvement for Cameroon is through emulation and competition.

J. S. Dinga

Competition....healthy competition. Yes sir, I buy that with my last CFA. If we revive competition in sports, in the classroom, in employment and all other domains where the demon of "man-know-man" or favoritism or tribalism or regionalism or Goebellism and all other "isms" smell, we may not need a national conference after all. But....

Louis Egbe Mbua

Hello Limbekid,

You said:

"Now why do I talk of "self flagellation"? A cursory glance at this forum in the last few days will bring up topics like: "Once upon a time Buea", "...stolen tea, stolen baby, football fiasco...", "Cameroon crisis..." "Tole tea striking workers". The topics all share the same theme - despair, despair, despair."

I'm not sure whether you understand the meaning of the word "self-flagellation". Have you ever worked without being paid or have your pension stolen by corrupt and scandalous business men? Have you heard of Robert Maxwell? Or do you think it is just normal for a young mother to have her baby stolen after delivery? Do you understand anything at all about post-natal stress? Do you know this can be life-threatening?

Buea has a University. So what? Who said "development" without a moral standard point means anything at all? What has the University said about the suffering Tole women? What competitiveness are you talking about here? Competition to cheat poor women and to steal babies?

We have to be sensitive to grave moral issues. Deriding the sufferings of others is NOT a "debate" nor is there any debate here. They should PAY those women what is owed them; and give back the woman's baby. That is the simple solution.

Mbua

J. S. Dinga

Looking closely at your two postings (Limbekid, Louis Egbe Mbua) it is clear that you are speaking your mind in a multifactor issue. The problem is that each posting taken in isolation seems at odds with our dilemma. It also reminds me of this smart kid who went on to prove the Appolonius theorem - and he did a superb job of it -when indeed the question asked was about the Pythagorean theorem. Yes indeed there are bright spots in our troubled country. But if we stuck to Dr. Vakunta's main concerns, we would not be seen to be opposing each other. Na lie?

limbekid

Dr Mbua,

Let`s put everything in perspective. The issues you've mentioned - stolen baby; aggrieved employees...- are issues which occur all over the world. They are tackled by the relevant authorities. They are not considered a national crisis. Let the police investigate whether or not a baby has been stolen. Let arbitrage authorities determine whether employment legislation has been infringed.

I don`t think accsess to a university is irrelevant. Tertiary education is one of the hinge pins of competitiveness. The USA would not be a military super power without the contribution of institutions like MIT, Stanford University, Princeton University... To deplore the lack of development while ignoring additions to infrastructure, is disingenious. I still think the pace of development in Cameroon is slower than other comparable economies, but that does not mean I ignore the little that is being done.

I also think we need to make a difference between ethics and legality. Unethical actions are not necessarily illegal. One does not make accusations of illegality without quoting what portions of the law have been infringed. I also prefer not to give blanket support to issues over which I do not have sufficient information. Just because a group of people take to the streets does not mean their grievance is justified.

I have already expressed my point of view on Dr Vakunta's suggestion for a national conference: let educationists propose improvements on education; let entrepreneurs fill the investment gap; let scientists and inventors fill the technological gap; let anthropologists tackle our socio-cultural issues; let politicians address political reforms ...

Louis Egbe Mbua

Limbekid,

Agreed. However, whether these issues occur all over the world or not, it sparks outrage anywhere; and matters are quickly solved. So, none should be surprised if there is total outrage in Cameroon. That you may not see the outrage does not mean it does not exist; or that others are not outraged.

It is through ethical considerations that legalities are founded.

I agree with you on the other issues.

limbekid

The best way to socially engineer a society is to make simple rules (hawking, littering, building codes ...) which appeal to the base:

Compare and contrast: Kigali vs Douala

Moto-taxis in Kigali
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotografia79/4900077355/ Notice the obligatory numbered, high visibility jackets and numbered crash helmets

Moto-taxis in Douala
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39811467@N00/6146062639/in/photostream/ Notice the complete disregard for safety and security

A visitor`s observations on Kigali
http://chikaforafrica.com/2011/08/15/a-tale-of-two-black-cities-ii/

A drive through Kigali
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA20y54qBSk

A drive through Douala
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpmrqH0I7KI

Obviously, this is not a definitive verdict on both countries, but just goes to show how simple regulations can positively influence performance.



J. S. Dinga

Viewed in another light, Limbekid is quite aptly comparing anarchy with organized living.

Olivia Membu

There is effectively light at the end of the tunnel in Cameroon but you cannot see it because you have placed yourself in an abyssal darkness. You tend to be vey opaque and completely insensitive to the major actions undertaken through the major accomplishment project to step up Cameroon’s development. By the time, you will get to see that light, the rest of Cameroonians will be out of the tunnel, all safe and in joy!

 Dr. Vakunta

"By the time, you will get to see that light, the rest of Cameroonians will be out of the tunnel, all safe and in joy!"

Talk about befuggled simpletons!

J. S. Dinga

Some of us have heard about this very elusive light at the end of the tunnel all our lives. Incredible indeed that any sane citizen still believes in the fable. Any wonder why we are taken for a ride all the time?

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