UK-Cameroon Cooperation: Consolidating Historic Ties
By Victorine BIY NFOR, Cameroon Tribune, 22-05-2014
The Minister for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office held talks with top government officials on May 21.
35 years have gone down history since Cameroon and the United Kingdom (UK) set up a joint commission. The seed that was planted started bearing fruits last September 2013 when both countries held their first-ever joint commission meeting, a novelty as it had never happened with any other country. The major fallout of the meeting was the signing of an accord which led to the holding of the trade and investment conference in London on May 7, 2014 with a Cameroonian delegation in attendance led by Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed.A British company into renewable energy, Joules Africa, is expected to supply the Adamawa Region with solar energy. The company amongst other British companies is also saluted for Douala Gas Plant in the Littoral Region while it also envisages the construction of the hydro-electric dam on the Katsina River.
The Minister for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hon. Mark Simmonds on a visit to Cameroon on May 21, 2014 told the press after discussions with the Minister of External Relations, Prof Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo that his mission, among other things, was to underline the importance of following up the bilateral summit held in London last year and “the very successful trade and investment conference that took place in London two weeks ago.” He said they also discussed how they can build a “positive and historic relationship that our two countries have.”
Mark Simmonds also had talks with the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, René Emmanuel Sadi after which he told the press that the recurrence of attacks by the Nigerian Islamist group, Boko Haram was disturbing and they could not fold their arms and watch souls perish. The importance of regional and international community working together to guarantee security and stability both in Nigeria, Cameroon and other neighbouring countries was Simmonds concern during separate discussions with Emmanuel Sadi and Moukoko Mbonjo. “Putting in place a medium and long-term plan to remove the root causes of Boko Haram,” was a good option, he said.
Another area of concern to the British Diplomat was the crisis in the Central African Republic with Cameroon reaping bad fruits where it did not sow. He said there was need for them to join forces and rebuild the CAR especially as refugees continue to cross to border countries particularly to Cameroon. “We need to help CAR create an atmosphere of security and stability,” Simmonds stressed. He explained that the UK has made significant contributions to the challenges in the CAR and will continue to give such humanitarian support and help rebuild capacities in the CAR.