Since the creation of the Company in Cameroon as the first privately-owned cement production firm in the country, Dangote Cement Cameroon, has completely captured the minds and hearts of local consumers, blending top quality cement with very low and affordable price; under the management led by, ABDULLAH BABA, the Company has completely dominated cement production and distribution in Cameroon, positioning itself as the undisputed number one producer and distributor of cement in the country.
In a visit to the Company’s headquarters in Douala, Naija Diaspora Magazine caught up with Mr. ABDULLAHI BABA, who painted a clear picture of the Company’s current position, and its future projects.
ND MAG: WHO IS THE CEO OF DANGOTE CEMENT CAMEROON?
CEO: Well, my name is ABDOULAYE BABA, I am a Chemical Engineer and a Nigerian. I joined the cement industry precisely in November 1981, and this is my 38th year in the industry.
ND MAG: HOW IS DANGOTE CEMENT CAMEROON DOING?
CEO: Well, in terms of target, expectations, acceptability, the Company is doing very very fine because I can tell you, from the first three months of entering the market, we took over its leadership, and from June 2015 until today, we have maintained that. There are struggles here and there, of course, in every endeavor there are struggles, but we are glad to say that we have remained there, on top, all these years.
ND MAG: CAN YOU GIVE US SOME SALES STATISTICS OF THE COMPANY?
CEO: Yeah, thank you very much. The installed capacity of this plant is 1.5million metric tons, and we have consistently done 1.2million metric tons in each of the last three years, and we are hoping to be able to increase on this as time goes on; we have plans to improve our market shares and this is a secret we will keep, but definitely, we are doing something. Statistically, we have done very well in terms of volumes and RCI over the years.
ND MAG: IN JUST OVER FIVE YEARS, DANGOTE CEMENT HAS CONQUERED THE CAMEROONIAN MARKET. WHAT IS THE SECRET?
CEO: It is important firstly, we are an African company; it is a brother-to-brother company. We came to Cameroon to produce the highest quality product and at the lowest possible cost; and this have paid off over these years. Apart from that, we virtually identify with the people; we are here not just to produce cement and sell, but we have also done a lot of social corporate responsibility activities all across our operation areas, and we are very proud of that; in fact, we tag this as one of our major achievements, because if you come to a place and you are doing business, your business must rub off on the communities in which you operate.
ND MAG: SO ARE YOU ENTIRELY SATISFIED WITH THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COMPANY?
CEO: The moment I tell you that I’m satisfied with the performance of the Company today, then I am out because there is always room for improvement; in whatever we do, there is always room for improvement. Ok, yes the numbers, the sales we are doing, our bottom line is fine, but then, we can do more. The best is yet to come from us.
ND MAG: IS THERE ANY NEW PROJECT IN THE PIPELINE?
CEO: You know that we are doing a project in Yaoundé, we are building a cement factory there, and the activities are already on; land-clearing, surveys, levelling, and everything have been completed, and we are waiting for equipment and construction material to start arriving anytime from now. So, definitely, that is there, and of course we see Cameroon as a brotherly nation, and so whatever we do in Nigeria, where the opportunity provides itself, definitely, we will do same in Cameroon.
ND MAG: AFTER THIRTY EIGHT YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY, HOW DO YOU RATE THE CEMENT PRODUCTION INDUSTRY IN CAMEROON?
CEO: I have spent about 17 years working with Dangote Cement, out of my thirty eight year experience. In Cameroon, if you recall, before we came here, it was only one company providing cement in the country, but since our entry, three or four others have come in; so, I’m glad to say that the industry is progressing in Cameroon, to the extent that more players have come in which is better off for the consumers because they now have the freedom of choice which was not there before. So, yes, the market has grown, the industry has grown within Cameroon.
ND MAG: AS A NIGERIAN, HOW DO YOU COPE, LIVING IN CAMEROON?
CEO: I am very very comfortable in Cameroon; the country is like home to me. You know, we were properly received and supported by the government and we have no complains whatsoever. Cameroon, as far as we are concerned, is home away from home.
ND MAG: ANY HIGHS OR LOWS SO FAR IN YOUR STAY IN CAMEROON?
CEO: Well, I think what I consider to be my most difficult period was at the beginning of the project when we had a lot of objections, resistance, but by the grace of God, and by the help of the government, we were able to overcome all these, and I’m glad to report today that our worst ‘enemy’ at that time is actually our ‘best friend’ today. So, that’s what life is; you know, one thing is clear, uncertainty creates a lot of issues with people because in the beginning, the ‘Sawa’ people thought we were coming to take away their site (which actually belonged to the Douala Port Authority) but through our activities, we created about ten hectares of land which we gave to the Douala City Council to manage for the organizing of the ‘Ngondo’ Festival; meaning that the ‘Ngondo’ Festival now has a permanent site. I recall one of the elders telling me that he could not believe that this was going to happen in his lifetime, but it did happen, so we are very happy to be a part of this, and it gladdens our hearts that what matters to the people the most, we have been able to deliver.
ND MAG: WHAT DO YOU LOVE BEST ABOUT CAMEROON?
CEO: Everything. Everything. Cameroon is a very culturally-aware society; I know this because we take part in some of their cultural activities (we are sponsors of Nguon, Ngondo, and many more still envisaged). Culture is wonderful, the food is unbelievable; there is a vast array of foods not just foods, but healthy foods) in Cameroon, and I’m proud to be part of this, and also sure that when I’m leaving here, that’s one of the biggest things I will miss, the Cameroonian food.
ND MAG: CAN YOU MENTION SOME OF THE MENUS THAT YOU LOVE MOST?
CEO: Ndole is a wonderful one; and of course, you know that with plantains, you can prepare all manner of dishes; I also love ‘Miondo and Ndole’ which is a delicacy as far as I’m concerned. You also have the fresh fish which also has the best sources of protein you can have; so, with all these dishes, which one would you chose and which other would you dislike?
ND MAG: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NIGERIA-CAMEROON TRADE, TOURISM AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL TO BE ORGANIZED BY THE NIGERIA CONSULATE GENERAL FOR THE LITTORAL/WEST REGIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER NIGERIAN DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATIONS IN CAMEROON?
CEO: These things are very necessary to integrate the people. You know, for a very longtime, colonization has separated the people; the world’s people have been separated culturally, musically, business-wise, and it is only events like this that can bring the people together to realize that they are one, and that the differences between them are really not as much as we think. We are one people, and must be able to do business together, and then we will be surprised at the level of similarities that exist between our cultures; sometimes, if you get to the Cross River State in Nigeria, the culture, dressing, food, and everything is not too different from what we have in Cameroon. Such festivals are very important in opening up avenues for business, cultural interchanges, and so many other things. In fact, it has been long overdue.
ND MAG: ANY INDIVIDUAL PROJECT?
CEO: I am an employed personnel and cannot have divided loyalty; I’m 100% loyal to my company, but however, if by tomorrow I am no longer in the Company, I believe there are a lot of things to do in Cameroon, so, why not? We might see things that are interesting to share in, especially now my Company has opened my eyes to realize that there’s not much difference between us and Cameroonians; we are one, our aspirations are one, everybody wants to climb up the social ladder, and where such opportunities come, we take advantage of it and make progress.
ND MAG: AS A FOREIGN EXPATRIATE, WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO THOSE WISHING TO TRAVEL ABROAD FOR GREENER PASTURES?
CEO: Well, I will tell you this, people who want to travel abroad will be shocked and surprised about what those who travel abroad are going through; there is no place like home. You think that the wages you get here are small, but so also is your cost of living, but if you go abroad, you will collect high wages with a very high cost of living too, and there’s not much freedom there too; look at the US, as a black person today, going about, you are not even sure you will come back to your house safely, without being harassed by either the police, or some of the citizens, whereas no one can harass you in your country because, just like every other person next door, you are a full-fledged citizen. Apart from this, if you are in your country and can raise one or two blocks in a month, you have done it, and overtime, you will see the level of progress you have made; but stay abroad and send money home, and by the time you come back, you will only get stories. I’m sure you are aware of this, people send money back home for houses to be built and they come back, no house, no money; you see, there are certain things we take for granted; when you harvest food from your farm and eat it without passing it through the refrigerator, you get a huge amount of minerals into your system, whereas, almost everything you consume in Europe, America, or Asia, are processed foods with added supplements which can have a long term effect on your health. You can always travel abroad when you have a well-defined and established job waiting for you, but if it is for random hustling, I wouldn’t advise anyone to travel abroad.
ND MAG: WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO NIGERIANS LIVING IN CAMEROON?
CEO: My advice is simple. Respect the laws of the land, that’s advice number one. Advise number two, respect the laws of the land. Advice number three, respect the laws of the land. And finally, make your living legitimately so that at any point in time, all the people around you can bear witness that yes, you have lived honorably. That’s all I can say.
ND MAG: WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT ND MAGAZINE BEING ONE OF ITS MAJOR PARTNERS?
CEO: Yes the Magazine is waxing stronger and stronger, and it is our prayers that it attains that eminence that we all wish it to be; definitely, it is something that a young man has pursued all along, and we have the responsibility to support him realize his dreams, and the dreams of all Nigerians, because it is important for us to have a voice that we can call our own. That is why this Magazine is very important, and we will give it all the necessary support to get to that level. It is our collective voice.
Nigerian Community praises Consul General Clark-Omeru over resolving Resident Permit issues in Cameroon
Consul General Clark-Omeru hosts Nigeria Community
…urges them to be law abiding citizens in host country
The Consul-General of Nigeria to Douala, the Republic of Cameroon, Ambassador (HRM) Queen Efe A. Clark-Omeru has hosted the Nigerian community in the Littoral Region for the second time to show appreciation for relentless services rendering to Nigeria nationals residing in the region of the host country.
It could be recalled that the executive of the Nigerian community paid courtesy visit to the Consulate General in May 2022 to express their maximum appreciation to the Mission who has been helpful in resolving pressing issues with the host country.
According to her speech, the CG welcomed the Nigerian Community executives led by the President, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku and provided details of the Consulate progress with the host country over pending issues concerning Nigerian residents in the region.
« It is my pleasure to welcome you to this event of New Year visit/wishes to me and the Consulate, » the statement reads.
« Since my arrival in June 2021, and with the presentation of my Exequatur which I assured you that the Consulate would not rest its oars by ensuring that the issue of molestation will be a thing of past in the history country. The Consulate has met several times with the officials of the immigration of the host country with particular reference to resident permit, exit Visa and the matter was resolved amicably as the immigration rights accorded to members of Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)
region is also accorded to Nigeria due to the already subsisting bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries. »
The Nigeria CG also highlighted the issues of non-issuance of Resident permits which is a great challenge to Nigerian residents in the Littoral region as it is contrary to it immigration law.
« The issue of non-issuance of Resident Permit has attracted my attention, on that basis, I directed my officers on 10th February 2023, accompanied by the president and some executive members of the Nigerian community to meet with new Commissioner EMI-immigration Madame Gertrude Bikok and the matter was also resolved due to the subsisting bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Consul General was excited to proudly commend the Nigeria community over their successful business activities which were satisfied by the host authorities. But urges her compatriots to be more tolerance of each other and remain law abiding to the host country.
In responding to the CG’s speech, the President of the Nigeria Community, Honourable B.I.C Okwujiaku heaps praise on the first female Consul General in Douala for her breath of peace among Nigerians in the region.
« Last year, we came to say thank you for the ones you have done. We have come again to further demonstrate our joy for your constant support, caring and motherly advise and solidarity to us as your fellow compatriots in Cameroon, » he said.
« History will record it that as the first female Consul General in Douala. Nigerians have benefited from your good leadership and skills of work, » he added.
Also appreciating the CG is Eminent philanthropist, HRH Eze Thomas .J. Onyengubo, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo in Cameroon, who also urged the Nigerian community members to remain united and be law abiding to the host country.
10TH ANIVERSARY OF THE CAMEROON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY – FINAL THOUGHTS
From the 18th to the 21st August 2022, the Pastoral Centre St Joseph of Kribi (Cameroon) hosted the 10th edition of what has become an annual ‘rendez-vous’ of capacity building of young Cameroonian Leaders and Entrepreneurs selected on the basis of their civic engagement, professional achievement and patriotic spirit.
Through this Academy, the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF) by Go Ahead Africa Ltd has been contributing to the empowerment of hundreds of young people in the fields of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Management.
Held in partnership with some of the most influential stakeholders in the Cameroonian economic ecosystem (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media and Vox Africa); and despite unforeseen circumstances, this 10th edition succeeded to gather forty-six participants (23 boys and 23 girls) aged between 18 and 35 years old under the theme « Challenges and opportunities of youth in a VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) ».
For the Founder of the PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, these young Leaders are true ambassadors of the emergence and prosperity of Cameroon. « Our goal is to train a world class of Young Cameroonian Leaders/Entrepreneurs who are masters of their destiny and resolutely at the service of the emergence of our country and even of our continent, Africa » he said.
During four (4) intense days under the expert guidance of Leadership Coach/Trainer
Emile SINGEH and Assistant Coach Perrin KWENKEU, the 2022 batch developed through a tailor-made program:
· Leadership and Management Skills
· Entrepreneurial spirit
· Spirit of Individual Social Responsibility and Active Citizenship
· Knowledge and Valorisation of the Great Historical Figures of Cameroon
· Appropriation of the Vision of a prosperous Cameroon
During this unique and extraordinary life experience punctuated by short nights (4 hours/day) and intense days of emotions, knowledge acquisition and teambuilding, the participants had the opportunity to meet and learn from their 2 Patrons:
· Mr Patrice MELOM (GM PAK)
· Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Founder and CEO Balafon Media Group)
They also had the great opportunity to interact with some of the Leaders and Managers who drive the economic scene.
Among them we can name Mr Abakal MAHAMAT (General Manager, BGFIBank Cameroon), Dr Elizabeth FON (General Manager, TESHO), Mrs Arielle WAFFO (General Manager, DKT Cameroon), Mr Dagobert TAHA (Design Thinking Expert), Mrs Pulton ARUNA (Consultant, Corporate Trainer in Management Skills, Customer Care, Food Safety, Quality Management, Training Techniques).
As key part of the program, the participants worked on reinventing the CLA model during the traditional ‘24 heures Chrono’ where they spend 24 hours in a row without sleeping in a journey to better understand (themselves) and learn how to surpass their self-expectations.
As the Cameroon Leadership Academy heads to new starts for its 10 years’ Convention on December, 10th taking with it an annual event that brought together hundreds of young Leaders and Entrepreneurs; it’s worth reflecting on its legacy and on the impact it made during the past ten (10) years that the event grew to empower 850 youth with the mission of training better Leaders in order to build better communities.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Du 18 au 21 août 2022, le Centre Pastoral St Joseph de Kribi (Cameroun) a accueilli la 10ème édition de ce qui est devenu un rendez-vous annuel de renforcement des capacités des jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs camerounais sélectionnés sur la base de leur engagement civique, de leur réussite professionnelle et de leur esprit patriotique.
Grâce à cette académie, la Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Foundation (PLF), une initiative du cabinet Go Ahead Africa Ltd a contribué à l’autonomisation de centaines de jeunes dans les domaines du Leadership, Entreprenariat et du Management.
Organisée en partenariat avec certains des acteurs les plus influents de l’écosystème économique camerounais (Go Ahead Africa Ltd, Groupe SABC, le Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK), BGFIBank Cameroon, Balafon Media et Vox Africa) ; et malgré des cas de force majeure cette 10ème édition a réussi à rassembler quarante-six participants (23 garçons et 23 filles) âgés de 18 à 35 ans sous le thème « Défis et opportunités de la jeunesse dans un environnement VUCA (Volatile, Incertain, Complexe et Ambigu) ».
Pour le Fondateur de la PLF, Roland KWEMAIN, ces jeunes Leaders sont de véritables ambassadeurs de l’émergence et de la prospérité du Cameroun. » Notre objectif est de former une classe mondiale de Jeunes Leaders/Entrepreneurs camerounais maîtres de leur destin et résolument au service de l’émergence de notre pays et même de notre continent, l’Afrique » a-t-il déclaré.
Pendant quatre (4) jours intenses sous la direction experte du Coach/Formateur en Leadership Emile SINGEH et de l’Assistant-Coach Perrin KWENKEU, la promotion 2022 a développé grâce à un programme taillé sur mesure :
-Des Compétences en leadership et Management
-La Responsabilité sociale individuelle et de citoyenneté active
-La Connaissance et valorisation des grandes figures historiques du Cameroun
-L’Appropriation de la Vision d’un Cameroun prospère
Au cours de cette expérience de vie unique et extraordinaire ponctuée de courtes nuits (4 heures/jour) et de journées intenses en émotions, en acquisition de connaissances et en Teambuilding, les participants ont eu l’occasion de rencontrer et d’apprendre de leurs 2 Parrains :
· Mr Patrice MELOM (DG PAK)
· Mr Cyrille BOJIKO (Promoteur et PDG du Groupe Balafon Media)
Ils ont également eu l’occasion d’interagir avec certains des leaders et des managers qui animent la scène économique.
Parmi lesquels, nous pouvons citer M. Abakal MAHAMAT (Directeur Général, BGFIBank Cameroun), Dr Elizabeth FON (Directeur Général, TESHO), Mme Arielle WAFFO (Directeur Général, DKT Cameroun), M. Dagobert TAHA (Expert en Design Thinking), Mme Pulton ARUNA (Consultante, formatrice en management, service client, sécurité alimentaire, gestion de la qualité, techniques de formation).
Durant le traditionnel « 24 heures Chrono » qui est en réalité l’élément clé du programme, les participants ont passé 24 heures d’affilée sans dormir afin de mieux se connaître et apprendre ainsi à dépasser leurs propres attentes. Pour cette édition, le « 24 heures Chrono » était dédié à réinventer le modèle économique de la CLA.
Alors que l’Académie Camerounaise de Leadership s’apprête à prendre un nouveau départ avec la Convention de ses 10 ans le 10 décembre 2022, emportant avec elle un événement annuel qui a rassemblé des centaines de jeunes leaders et entrepreneurs, il convient donc de réfléchir sur son héritage et à l’impact qu’ elle a eu au cours des dix (10) dernières années durant lesquelles l’événement s’est développé et a autonomisé 850 jeunes avec pour principale mission de former de meilleurs leaders afin de construire de meilleures communautés.
Emile Désiré SINGEH
Pour plus d’informations sur la Fondation et ses activités, contactez :
Etienne Martial MVONDO
Directeur Exécutif, PLF
+237 6 96 79 99 60 / 6 51 51 40 59
Emile Désiré SINGEH
+237 6 77 82 36 12
THE LAW SOCIETY with ELOCHUKWU JOY as president
The law society, is the student association of the department of English law of the University of Buea, Cameroon. It encompasses all duly registered students of this department. It has been existing since the creation of the university in 1993, and stands out as the largest departmental student association, with about three thousand (3000) students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. With the motto| “integritas veritas justicia” meaning integrity, truth and justice, the main objective of the student association is to maintain a link between the students and the administration. The association is made up of fourteen (14) executives elected through universal suffrage, representing the various levels. The association is headed by the president who together with his/her executive are elected for an unrenewable duration of one (1) academic year. During the course of the year, the association is charged with organizing activities such as moot courts, symposiums, debates, academic interactions etc.
As a student enrolled into the department of English law during the academic year 2019-2020 and consequently became a Bonafide member of the student association. I was then, immediately elected to serve as the class delegate of my class. As the class delegate, I was the representative of the over 700 students admitted as freshmen during that academic year. Due to my diligent service as class delegate, I got elected as vice president of the law society for the academic year 2020-2021. With my experience as class delegate and then vice president, I postulated for the post of president of the law society and eventually won the election in a historic election that saw the law society produce the first female president in its over 23years of existence.
During my tenure of office as president of the Law society, my executives and I, organized a series of activities to the benefit of the students. To promote harmony and enhance a sense of belonging amongst the students, we launched the T-shirt for the department of English law. To be worn by all the students in the department on Wednesdays. Also, to create awareness on sexual harassment which is a common phenomenon in the academic milieu, we organized a symposium that was well attended by officials in the university as well as the various heads of the judiciary in the south west region. To educate the students on how to avoid, overcame and tackle issues related to sexual harassment. We also continued the customary annual activities of the law society such as moot court, academic interactions and the Law society Gala. however, amongst the many activities and events we recorded, was the launching of the gigantic project to construct a Law society coffee stand. This project is aimed at building a spot that will enable law students of the university commune together out of the usual formal environment of the classroom. We equally championed advocacy campaigns at the level of the rectorate and the Nigerian consulate in Cameroon to inquire why Cameroonian students were not being admitted in the Nigerian Law school.
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