Now is the time for quality economic diversification in Cameroon

Now is the time for quality economic diversification in Cameroon

Cameroon has just benefited from a consultation with ECA to update its forecasting, projection and simulation models for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

YAOUNDE, Cameroon
May 29, 2018

The Douala Consensus, a call by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for the rapid diversification and industrialization of economies of Central African countries, continues to stimulate reflection and action by planners from the countries of the subregion. This is the particular case of Cameroon, which has just benefited from a consultation with ECA to update its forecasting, projection and simulation models for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Director General of the Economy and Public Investments Programming at Cameroon’s Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT, in French) – Mr. Isaac Tamba recalled the relevance of this Consensus which has encouraged his country to further diversify its economy vertically and horizontally in order to strengthen its resilience to external economic shocks.  Speaking at a just-ended workshop on forecasting, projection and simulation models for economic diversification in Cameroon, organized by ECA, Mr. Tamba said “This is an imperative which, from our vantage point, will help us to better calibrate the dialogue we have having with our partners on Cameroon’s very own concerns.”

“Beyond the fact that we will all be equipped with formulas and even attitudes that allow us to improve the effectiveness of our development policies, because they will be more evidence-based, up-to-date models will enable us to stay on course with regards to our long-term goals of becoming an emerging country,” he added.  During the workshop, about forty participants, including experts in economic modeling tools from Cameroon, accompanied by their counterparts from other countries of Central Africa, learned that “African and Central African countries must make every effort to strengthen the process of structural transformation of their economies, in order to generate strong and sustained growth, that results in decent jobs and the wellbeing of all.”

These were the words of Mr. Antonio Pedro, Director of the Sub-Regional Office for Central Africa of ECA, who stressed the need for Cameroon to break with “increased dependence on the export of unprocessed products, towards an economic diversification of quality. ”  According to Mr. Pedro, “I am talking of quality here because an economy like Cameroon, for example, is already very diversified … [but] we need a more vertical diversification, with the production of more sophisticated and complex goods and services, with higher technological inputs.”

This speaks to the relevance of the workshop, which aimed to support Cameroon to acquire “the best tools to give it much needed latitude for the kind of budgetary adjustments needed to promote its long-term development objectives.”  The just-ended consultations allowed planners in Cameroon to identify the shortcomings of existing models with a view to improving them.

Distributed by APO Group
Cameroon Military Tribunal Jails Seven Anglophone Activists – Local Media

Cameroon Military Tribunal Jails Seven Anglophone Activists – Local Media

May 25, 2018

A military tribunal in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Friday sentenced seven activists from Cameroon’s Anglophone region to different terms in prison. The convicts included Mancho Bibixy, the famous coffin activist.  The seven in late April 2018 convicted of terrorism and other charges including secession and hostility against the state. Their trial before the Yaounde court lasted months.  Sentencing was initially reserved for May 8th, 2018 but was delivered today after a series of adjournments.

Local media at the time of his conviction said he was acquitted of other charges as rebellion, civil war, destruction of property, killing and non-possession of an ID.  The highest term went to Bibixy and another Tsi Conrad, who both bagged 15 years each. Three others, Tha Emile Agwei, Tamngwa Malvin and Aselecha Martin got 13 years each. The remaining two, Awah Thomas and Guingah Valentine were jailed 11 and 10 years respectively.  They were further ordered to pay damages to the court and to the civil party, local journalists added. 64 million CFA to the court and 204 million CFA to the civil party.

Africa News

Building Good Governance and Counterterrorism Capacity in the Far North Region of Cameroon

Building Good Governance and Counterterrorism Capacity in the Far North Region of Cameroon

Building Good Governance and Counter-terrorism Capacity in the Far North Region of Cameroon
YAOUNDE, Cameroon
May 16, 2018

Minister of State, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, (Mr Laurent ESSO)
Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform, (Mr. Joseph Anderson LE)
Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations in charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, (Mr. Felix Mbayu)
Minister of Territorial Administration, (TBC)  (Mr. Paul ATANGA NJI)
Minister of Defense,(TBC) (Mr. Joseph Beti ASSOMO)
Director General of National Security, (TBC) (Mr. Martin MBARGA NGUELE)
Director General of the NATIONAL SCHOOL OF ADMINISTRATION AND MAGISTRACY, (Mr. Linus Toussaint Mendjana)
Prosecutor General to the Supreme Court, (TBC) (Mr. Luc NDJODO)

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to join you for the launch of this important initiative which proceeds from the shared belief that good governance and the rule of law are the foundation of the fight against terrorism.  This assembled group understands the link between civil liberties and security.

We are grateful to David Abouem a Tchoyi and Stephen White, the two gentlemen  who will be leading the training orientation for this program.  Their rich experience in security sector reform and good governance will serve as important guides.  Over the next four days, you will be working together towards a common goal – to equip your colleagues in regions most affected by conflict with the knowledge and skills recognized as international best practices in countering terrorism.

The U.S. government is proud to support this initiative; it is funded through the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism.  It is a two-year project, begun in 2017 and running through October 2019.  The initiative will support ongoing efforts to develop Cameroon’s institutional capacity to train civilian government officials and law enforcement to meet the needs of communities vulnerable to terrorism and conflict.  Today, more countries than ever before have been impacted by the various manifestations of terrorism.

Countering this threat is a global effort requiring sustained commitment from us all – this includes the international, regional (in this case, the Lake Chad Basin Region), national, and sub-national leaders.  Effective counterterrorism measures and the protection of human rights and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing goals best achieved through a whole-of-society effort.  This initiative focuses on the Far North Region, where Boko Haram has exacted a heavy toll on the ethnically diverse and economically challenged border communities.

As we all know, the region has long suffered from a multitude of development deficits.  Nearly three quarters of the population lives below the poverty line, double the national average.  The region is home to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees from neighboring countries.  National, regional, and local authorities, security forces, and communities remain locked in a bitter struggle against the group.  Despite these challenges, Cameroon and its neighbors are steadily making military gains with the assistance of the Multinational Joint Task Force – and with help from the United States, which advises and assists Cameroonian forces, trains its forces, and provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support.

Just last week, we were proud to hand over two U.S.-built Cessna aircraft.  France, and the United Kingdom are doing their parts as well, as is the World Bank, and the European Union, and others.  You are not alone.
We know that degrading Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa is only part of the answer to sustained peace and development.  In its book the Journey to Extremism, the UN Development Programme notes that 71 percent of young men interviewed who had left violent extremist organizaitons said it was government action – the arrest or killing of a family member or friend –  that had triggered their decision to join.

The rule of law based on a sense of fairness is a necessary condition if we want to address community concerns, build social resilience, and reduce underlying drivers of violence.  This is the very foundation of peace and security.  This foundation is built on respect for human rights, good governance, access to justice, transparency, and the rule of law.  Upholding this foundation requires a community of actors working in tandem toward a common goal.

The challenges are many.

For magistrates, cases relating to terrorism pose legal and procedural questions:

  • How is evidence collected and the chain of custody maintained, for example, when the military is a first responder to a terrorist attack?
  • How can the courts guarantee the right to a fair trial without undue delay?
  • How are the rights of victims upheld, and the protection of witnesses secured?
  • How can evidence derived from intelligence be admitted to a court while allowing law enforcement to protect its sources and methods?

And how can the defendant’s right to the presumption of innocence be guaranteed when stigma is so burdensome for those merely accused – let alone convicted – of association with Boko Haram?

For administrators, the goal is to fulfill the obligations of civilian-led efforts to sustain and advance gains made over the last years.

  • It is widely accepted that a community-centered approach is critical to achieving long-term gains in peace, development, and security.
  • At a local and a national level, administrators have to identify ways to address the drivers of violent extremism and promote community resilience.
  • Sub-divisional and divisional authorities appointed by Yaoundé and for the most part coming from other regions of Cameroon must inform their decision-making by taking into account localized, community-level needs.
    Similarly, administrators need to incorporate the voices of marginalized groups, of women, and of youth. Remember that half of Cameroon’s population is under the age of 19.
  • We know it is difficult, but authorities need to identify the most effective strategies to reintegrate defectors into their communities.

We hope this initiative will help lead to the development of best practices for administration, governance, and protection of human rights in terrorism-affected communities.  ENAM has a sterling reputation and a storied history of training judges and administrators:  that’s why we chose this institution.  Together with ENAM, we will help lessen instances of radicalization caused by a sense of injustice and discrimination.  We look forward to deepening our engagement.

We look forward to a day when the peoples of the Lake Chad Basin Region can live together in peace and harmony, without fear.

Thank you.

Distributed by APO Group 
Department of State Participation in Flintlock 2018

Department of State Participation in Flintlock 2018

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, April 9, 2018/ — The Department of State is pleased to once again participate in Flintlock, U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) annual and largest Special Operations Forces exercise. Flintlock exercises have taken place regularly since 2005 with partner nations from the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and are planned by African partner nation special operations forces; Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA); and the U.S. Department of State. Approximately 1,900 service members from 20 African and Western partner nations will participate in Flintlock at multiple locations in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal from April 9-20, 2018.

The largest civilian component to Flintlock 2018 is the law enforcement training and equipment provided under the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. Through a partnership with the ATA program, this year’s exercise marks the most thorough integration of civilian equities into Flintlock yet. The law enforcement component will build upon the cross-border counterterrorism communication, coordination, and response at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels between military and civilian law enforcement to counter terrorist threats and attacks.

In general, the law enforcement integration into Flintlock provides a series of training sessions focusing on tactical rural patrol and crisis response capabilities, counterterrorism investigations, command and communication management, post blast and crime scene investigations, community engagement, and human rights. The State Department will also integrate rule of law engagement and humanitarian border management training into components of the exercise.

The State Department is proud to be part of this exercise and values this opportunity for information sharing and integration of civilian law enforcement with the military to increase security sector and multinational interoperability and cooperation in the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations.

Participating African nations include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Western partners include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Intelcia expands into Madagascar and Mauritius, consolidating its position as a pan-African leader in customer relations

Intelcia expands into Madagascar and Mauritius, consolidating its position as a pan-African leader in customer relations

CASABLANCA, Morocco, March 27, 2018/ — Karim Bernoussi, Chief Executive Officer of the Intelcia Group, a major player in customer relations, announces the integration of outsourcing sites Outremer Télécom Maurice et Madagascar, which will now conduct business under the Intelcia banner.

On Tuesday, 20 March 2018, Karim Bernoussi, Chief Executive Officer of the Intelcia Group, together with Youssef El Aoufir, Managing Director of the Intelcia Group, and the Group’s Executive Committee, inaugurated Intelcia Madagascar at Antananarivo under the patronage of the Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Development, the Minister of Employment, Technical Education and Vocational Training, and the Minister of Industry and Private Sector Development. The Moroccan ambassador Mohamed Benjilani was also present at the event.

This move falls within the group’s strategy to expand its activities throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean in keeping with the South-South policy advocated by Morocco under the guidance of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.

In light of the quality of the job market, the expertise developed in certain customer relations tasks, and the economic interests of Intelcia Group customers, the decision to enter the Madagascan and Mauritian markets was based on a genuine potential for growth for the group.

Intelcia consolidates its position as a pan-African leader in customer relations

This expansion to the island market of the Indian Ocean with a double presence in Madagascar and Mauritius fits perfectly with the Group’s offshore development policy, which is likewise present in Cameroon, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, in parallel to the ever-evolving development of the Group’s onshore (France) and nearshore (Morocco) centres. With over 1,500 positions in Madagascar and another 1,100 on the island of Mauritius, Intelcia is becoming the leading employer in the sector for both countries.

A changing brand, a vector of new perspectives and aspirations

Intelcia chooses to have a unique and powerful brand that guarantees consistency to the benefit of its employees and customers alike and the highest standards of excellence and engagement everywhere the Group does business. Within this framework, the centres in Madagascar and Mauritius benefited from an upgrade responding to the needs of the Group in terms of infrastructure, communications and workspaces centred on the well-being and professional development of its employees.

Intelcia: a group with human DNA, guaranteeing management continuity

The 2,600 current employees in Madagascar and Mauritius incorporated into Intelcia’s teams will benefit from the group’s community-based approach, which is built upon proximity management and commitment to strong values including transparency and engagement with employees and all its customers.

As a socially responsible enterprise, Intelcia is involved in the development of the communities where it has activities and places employability at the core of its social responsibility and corporate strategies. The Group thus seeks to not only expand the prospects of career development and training, but to also foster diversity and equal opportunities though engagements to benefit all its employees.

Intelcia expands into Madagascar and Mauritius, consolidating its position as a pan-African leader in customer relations

Intelcia expands into Madagascar and Mauritius, consolidating its position as a pan-African leader in customer relations. Source: APO Group on behalf of Intelcia.