Courted and envied by many for its natural resources and other endowments, Cameroon continues to live the realities of meaningful interdependence. One of its ingredients is the sustenance of ties that bind for mutual dividends.
France, a European power that administered part of Cameroon as a United Nation’s mandated territory / trusteeship, with Britain taking charge of the territory West of the Mungo River, is one of those powers that will not undermine the importance of sustaining ties that yield the expected fruits.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Cameroon, his first trip to an African country since the recent inauguration to serve a second term as President of a country that for long has been known as friend of Africa, speaks for itself, the rationale of consolidating friendly relations.
President Paul Biya whose knowledge of law and political science with a rare experience of leadership of a bilingual country for over 39 years is aware of the truth that the interdependence of sovereign states demands cooperation on equal basis and diversification of diplomatic and cooperation ties.
At a time when despite its importance the Millennium Development Goals initiative launched by the United Nations General Assembly, in the year 2000, have been eclipsed by selfish politicking, socio-economic protectionist tendencies, senseless wars, and separatists agenda, it is important for peace-loving nations to continue to seek ways of giving fruitful globalization the meaning it deserves.
One of the fora through which France has during the post-independence era proven its focus on African countries is the holding of Summits in which leaders brainstorm and take important decisions concerning the political stability and development of their nations. It was in one of these summits held in Paris on 13 November 1973 that President George Pompidou of blessed memory, masterminded and declared the rationale of continuous cooperation between France and French speaking African countries.
Through constant meetings and dialogue, he noted, crucial issues concerning cooperation and development, would be better understood and judiciously tackled. That Summit in effect, laid the foundation of an instrument for mutual consultations and cooperation which other French leaders have since continued to respect and work with their African counterparts in the interest of citizens, despite challenges that emerge.
Considering that the Paris November 1973 Summit was held just after the Arab – Israeli war in which over 10,000 people had lost their lives, participants harped on the importance of peace in cooperation and development. It is this need for peace that has kept leaders, governments and non-governmental organisations working together to avert what retards and even stalls efforts for change.
President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Cameroon after President Paul Biya in Paris had frankly declared that he was a beggar for peace shows the importance of peace in cooperation and development. It also proves how concerned the Cameroon leader is for the peace that is direly needed in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, the Far North and the East Region where influx of refugees from the Central Africa affects the lives of citizens in various ways.
Regrettably, these problems that made the Cameroon leader speak frankly while in Paris in recent years have been aggravated by the outbreak of the Corona virus, which resulted in unexpected expenses and untimely deaths of compatriots, the war in the Ukraine and the consequent rise in prices of commodities including fuel. These can be stalled.
Fortunately, Cameroon while working with cooperation partners does not disregard its quota in the contribution of solutions to common problems. These friendly countries, however, should always note that independent states despite their national challenges count on other countries and institutions. This also explains why the Cameroon government uses its institutions as well as compatriots to ensure cooperation for peace and progress in all forms.
It also appreciates what France, like other cooperation partners can do through international organisations like the Francophonie or the European Union EU to boost relations and development, besides bilateral concerns. France’s assistance of over CFA 40 billion granted for reconstruction of the Northwest and Southwest regions and the concern expressed for return to normalcy in the war-torn Northwest and Southwest regions is a good example, of bilateral cooperation for peace and development, worth emulating by other cooperation partners.
President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Cameroon at this time considering the socio-economic and political scenario triggered by narrow patriotism, and protectionist tendencies, is indeed timely. It is hoped that his official visit and contacts will yield the expected fruits in the interest of the two countries, Cameroon and France.