From September 27 to October 1, 2019, government functionaries, businessmen and women from Cameroon and Nigeria were gathered in Douala, Cameroon where they interacted under friendly ambience and sought ways of improved business climate between the two countries. ISMAILA ADEGBOLA reports
At the second edition of Nigeria-Cameroon Trade, Tourism and Culture Week held in Douala between September 27 and October 1, the Consul General of Douala, Safiu O. Olaniyan was brimming with confidence and occasionally smiling in assurance of a bright future of Nigeria- Cameroon relationship.
The opening ceremony held at Canal Olympia Douala on Friday 27th attracted appreciable number of dignitaries from Nigeria and Cameroon, all of whom expressed enthusiasm at the event and satisfaction to the efforts of the organising committee headed by the consul general.
As a career diplomat, who had seen it all in international relations, Olaniyan made some submissions, asserting that the contemporary world is too interwoven for individual countries to go it alone, insisting that the world is a global village which has shrunk to a unit.
He maintained that the step, which the Nigerian diplomatic and Consular missions had taken so far, would take Nigeria and Cameroon to their dream destinations, urging the two nations to consolidate the stride. Doubling as the chairman of the organising committee, he confirmed that the fair would be holding every two years where an improved organisation would be witnessed by participants.
“I want to sincerely thank all the stakeholders, close collaborators, sponsors and other participants for the successful hosting of this edition. I want the youths of the two countries to take a positive step now and believe in what they can do, for the future is now. One can be taught skills but it is always good to be obedient to one’s passion. Youths should make profitable use of your cell phones,” he advised.
Olaniyan warned of the danger of disunity and regretted the long decade it had taken to organize the edition. He disclosed that the two Consulates General of Buea, Douala the High Commission in Yaoundé collaborated closely « to the boundaries of economic relationships » by coming together to seek ways to undertake formal business ventures, take the responsibility to understand what it takes to do good business etc. He also emphasised the significance of aviation technology.
Aside the consul general, a cross section of other Speakers also mounted the podium and delivered impactful speeches to improve, widen, reinforce, facilitate ties and to share knowledge on each other’s business climate, in order to promote opportunities for sustainable development which is also the theme of this edition.
In his speech, the leader of government delegate of Douala, Dr. Ntone Ntone, sold the city’s potential and attractions to the visiting participants just as he also presented projects like SMIT and others, thereafter, appealing for revenue generating projects for those who wished to invest in Douala, the nation’s economic capital.
The Nigerian High Commission in Yaounde, His Excellency, Ambassador Lawan Gashaga, described the event as a new dawn in the history of the NCTC which he regretted, was supposed to be an annual event. This, he stated, was in furtherance to reinforce all the ties already in place between the two countries despite the emergence of afrophobia which should be discouraged.
He called for the encouragement and an improvement of free movement of peoples, goods and the promotion of investments.
Representative of the Nigerian Ministry of Information and Culture, who was said to be the Head of the Nigerian delegation in the presence of another senior representative of the Benue State, also described the event as another watershed and advocated for a collective commitment to share experiences to increase global competence.
She called on the two countries to make culture a key sector to be transformed into a huge money spinner, also calling for more private sector investments to impact on culture, analyse and gain knowledge of the products and technologies.
Speeches were closely followed by cultural displays by the Benue State and Sawa dance groups who thrilled the gathering. The NCTC was declared open by the Cameroon Minister of Tourism and Leisure, after which came the exhibition and visit to stands led by the Minister of Tourism and Leisure and entourage of both Nigeria and Cameroon.
Others present included heads of diplomatic missions, senior government officials, traditional chiefs, heads of enterprises or their representatives, other local officials and cultural groups from Nigeria and Cameroon.
Significantly, the event boosted atmosphere of accomplishment among the organizers and the organizing committee members who sweated for months to revive the international fair which ended on the 59th Independence day of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Senior government officials, the consular and diplomatic corps, economic operators and other invited guests featured prominently at the fair and explored good business practices across the two borders.
The Chamber of Commerce of Cameroon represented by the Vice President Ekoko Mukete, the assistant D.G. of A.P.M.E. that promotes the interests of small and medium businesses in Cameroon and a highly reputed international lawyer, Barrister Nico Halle.
Papers were also delivered by the representatives of SMEDAN that promotes small and medium sized enterprises in Nigeria, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), NAFDAC, Dangote Cameroon who was also the biggest sponsor of the edition, and experts under UBA who presented the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to make tomorrow’s Africa great again, Madam Olaniyan, wife of the Consul General of Douala and Mrs Addingi who was the head of Delegation of Benue State.
Though brief, the presentations were another training session on what one needs to do to be successful in business and life. The Benue State head of delegation advised that the youth can start an enterprise with very little capital but cut down on luxury goods.
At the gala night on October 1st, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Cameroon, Lawan Gashagar once again highlighted Nigeria – Cameroon cooperation such as Bamenda – Enugu road.
Gallery: Diaspora Excellence Award 2023
At the occasion organized in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Naija Diaspora Magazine, several individuals, companies, governors, traditional rulers, business owners, government agencies and parastatals as well as politicians were honored for their outstanding performances in 2023. The publication celebrated its
10th anniversary with a two-day event that included the Symposium and Annual Diaspora Excellence Award. This platform provided a unique opportunity for collective learning, networking, and gaining insights into government policies that relate to communities. Attendees were empowered to navigate pathways of positive change. The Symposium lecture was titled: ‘Building a Nation’, with several dignitaries as speakers.
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Inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament Triumphs Amidst Adversity
On the 6th of August 2023, a monumental event took place at St Michel, Terminus, Douala, marking the commencement of the First Edition of the Anambra State Union Football Tournament. Under the stewardship of Sir Emeka Uzoka, Chairman of the Anambra State Union, this tournament emerged as a testament to unity, sportsmanship, and the indomitable spirit of the Anambra community.
The opening ceremony set the stage for what would become an unforgettable showcase of camaraderie and competitive fervor. A true celebration of tradition and athleticism, the tournament kicked off with a Veteran Match at 2:00 pm. The clash between Aguata Local Government Union and Nnewi Local Government Union resulted in a gripping encounter, with Aguata securing victory with a 2-0 score line.
Distinguished figures graced the event with their presence, adding prestige to the occasion. Among them was Mr. Oliva Ochi, Consul 1 at the Consulate General Douala, representing the esteemed Consul General, H.E. Amb. (Mrs.) Efe A. Clark-Omeru.
The honorable gathering was further enriched by the participation of key personalities, including: Hon. BIC Okwujiaku, President of the Nigerian Community Douala, HRH Eze Jonathan T. Onyenagubor, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Cameroon, Sir, Lovinus Ezeh, Vice President, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Alex Nwoye, Vice President 2, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Uche Obiekwe, Patron of the Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Innocent Obiorah Odoh, Patron Anambra State Union, Chairmen of Imo and Enugu States Union, Esteemed members of the Anambra State Union.
The event also extended its reach to include esteemed guests from Douala and beyond.
In recognition of the paramount importance of safety and well-being, the organizers ensured the presence of dedicated medical health and security personnel, assuring attendees a secure environment throughout the event.
Despite the inclement weather characterized by heavy rain, the unyielding spirit of the Anambra community remained unshaken. A testament to their passion for football and unity, a remarkable number of attendees braved the elements, converging to witness the unfolding of history on the lush fields of St Michel, Terminus.
The final was held on Sunday 12th of November 2023 @ Bonamousadi Stadium Douala. Oyi Local Government lifted the trophy while Aguta Local Government took the bronze and Idemili Local Government took silver.
The inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament stands as an embodiment of shared values, intercommunity collaboration, and the timeless appeal of sport. This event not only etched a significant mark on the sporting calendar but also served as a reminder of the resilience and unity that define the Anambra community.
As the tournament concluded its first chapter, it left in its wake a legacy of camaraderie, sporting excellence, and the promise of more remarkable editions to come.
CAMEROON: Miniature Africa
Cameroon, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, is a country with a captivating blend of rich cultural diversity, stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Often referred to as « Miniature Africa, » Cameroon offers travelers a unique and multifaceted experience, showcasing the continent’s essence in a single destination.
With more than 250 ethnic groups and languages, Cameroon is a melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions and customs. The capital city, Yaoundé, and the economic hub, Douala, provide excellent starting points to dive into Cameroon’s cultural wealth.
Cameroon’s diverse geography offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes, each with its unique charm.
In the West, the mist-covered peaks of Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa, beckon adventurous hikers to climb and witness awe-inspiring views of the surrounding scenery.
Towards the North, the Sahelian region boasts vast savannas and semi-arid landscapes, offering visitors an opportunity to spot magnificent wildlife, and in the East, the dense rainforests of the Congo Basin teem with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and exotic bird species.
Tourism Spots on a Budget
Here are a selection of the most distinguished and captivating tourist destinations in Cameroon. These remarkable locales boast accessibility without undue strain on one’s financial resources, making them irresistible choices for tourists.
Mefou National Park:
Mefou National Park houses the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, a rescue center managed by Ape Action Africa. With over 300 rare and endangered primates, it’s a significant conservation project in Africa, providing lifelong care and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trades.
Formerly known as Victoria, Limbe is a port city with a diverse flora and fauna influenced by its colonial past. The Limbe Wildlife Centre/Botanical Centre offers a close-to-nature experience, rescuing and caring for ill-treated and endangered animals.
Mount Cameroon, also called the « Chariot of the Gods, » is West Africa’s highest mountain and an active volcano. A popular destination for adventurers and hikers, the trek offers stunning views, diverse landscapes and encounters with wildlife like monkeys and birds.
Kribi Beach, in the southwestern region, boasts long white sand beaches and clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Visitors can also enjoy the Chutes de la Lobé waterfall, where they can swim under the falls. Local cuisine and seafood delicacies await at various restaurants.
Korup National Park:
Korup National Park, renowned for its bird species, offers pristine tropical wilderness. Visitors can enjoy lodging infrastructure and spot unique primates like the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and Perseus’s red colobus. Located near the ocean, Mundemba serves as a starting point for tours to the park, where guides often speak the local Cameroonian language.
Cameroon stands tall as a remarkable destination for audacious travelers seeking a blend of cultural diversity, awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling adventures. From the depths of the rainforests to the heights of its mountains, and from the bustling cities to the serene beaches, the land beckons with open arms, ready to share its enchanting beauty and warm hospitality with all who venture to explore its wonders. As tourism in Cameroon continues to grow sustainably, the country’s potential as a captivating and memorable destination will undoubtedly flourish.