Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Persons with Visual Impairment in Mezam gain skills to ease job market accessibility

cross section of the hall
With participants and authorities

Some Persons with Visual Impairment have renewed their skills in gaining access to the job market. The event which took place over the weekend in Bamenda was organized by Mrs EMILIA EBULE NDOH, PhD Researcher at the University Ghent Belgium in collaboration with Hope Social Union for the Visually Impaired. 

Officially opening the event, the divisional delegate of social affairs for Mezam Mr Nkwende Clive Chick, lauded the initiative by the Mrs. Ndoh for involving the government to accompany her in the quest to see that PVIs are hopeful and assured in gaining access to the job market. He reiterated the law n° 2010/002 of 13 April 2010 on the protection and promotion of persons with disabilities in Cameroon enacted by the government of Cameroon. Quoting this Mr. Nkwende Clive assured PVIs in general and Persons Living with disabilities as a whole government’s goodwill towards them.

Mr Nkwende Clive ChicK, divisional delegate of social affairs for Mezam

According to Mrs EMILIA EBULE NDOH, PhD Researcher at the University Ghent Belgium the host, the event had 3 main objectives; Educate persons with visual impairment on different methods of acquiring training and skills that will not only prepare them for the job market, but also make them potential employers and economic operators, raise awareness at the level of vocational institutions on the need for inclusive programs for the visually impaired. This will go a long way to provide them with necessary skills and raise awareness at the level of the government and economic operators on the potentials of persons with visual impairment.

Mrs EMILIA EBULE NDOH, PhD Researcher at the University Ghent Belgium

Presenting an overview of Employed PVIs in Cameroon, their challenges and successes in the 21st Century, Mr. Tonain Peter President of Hope Social Union for the Visually Impaired and Mr. Nyinchuo Samuel acknowledged and congratulated PVIs and organizations/governments who have given PVIs the chance to show their ability. Mr. Tonain while responding in the affirmative that PVIs face challenges like acceptance, accommodation and accessibility he urged them to remain push ful even in the sole proprietor businesses they are carrying out. 

Mr. Tonain Peter President of Hope Social Union for the Visually Impaired and Mr. Nyinchuo Samuel

Attending the event were also Mr Agbor Nkeng Etengeneng, Regional Secretary for Cameroo Human Rights Commission and Mr Gaby AMBO, Regioal Coordinator CONAC who agreed that several reasons account for the non-inclusiveness of persons with visual impairment in mainstream societal activities in Cameroon but one aspect stands out clear; the lack of awareness from state authorities, civil society and the business sector on the one hand and the persons with visual impairment themselves on the other hand. They appealed to the PVIs present to use the seminar judiciously and raise awareness on the need to include persons with visual impairments in the country’s mainstream life through advocacy and by showcasing the potential contribution persons with visual impairment can bring in the socio economic evolution of the country.

From Left to right, Mrs Emilia Ebule Host , Mr. Gaby Ambo (CONAC Representative), Mr Agbo Nkeng (Rep Human Rights Commission), Mr. nkwende Clive (Divisional Delegate Social Affairs and Mr. Tonain Peter (President Hope Social Union for the visually Impaired

Participants were further divided into three groups and they discussed on 1) their abilities as PVIs to fit in the job market, current challenges faced by PVIs in the job market and possible challenges that may arise if these current challenges are not met. 

Group work

Furthermore they visited a computer lab and a cane weaving workshop to perfect their skills in the above. 

Participants at a Computer lab

Participants at a cane weaving workshop owned by a PVI

At the end of the workshop, Mrs Emilia Ebule Ndoh expressed gratitude to all who attended and prayed that the Knowledge gained goes a long way to ease accessibility for PVIs in the job market.

By Ndong Carine

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hate Speech: Representatives Of Media Organizations in Central Africa enhance skills to mitigate the vice

Participants at the Douala conclave 

From the 26 to 29 October 2021, Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon, will host a regional forum to raise awareness and build the capacity of media practitioners to prevent and combat hate speech in Central Africa.
The event is organized by the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, in collaboration with the Cameroonian government, the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (UNCHRD-AC), the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC (UNJHRO), the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UNESCO Office for Central Africa.

The forum targets mainly journalists from professional organizations and will provide an opportunity to review the different hate words generally used in the media by participants from Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad.

Beyond this overview, the Douala Forum will focus on the different situations with regards to the dissemination of hate messages, their meaning, as well as on the tools to prevent and combat them.

 Presentations will be made by the different speakers to edify and draw the attention of participants on the impact of hate speech, which is also considered as an attack against tolerance, social cohesion, national unity and diversity. 

Group work will reinforce reflections on specific aspects and facilitate discussions on the development of a regional strategy to prevent and fight against hate speech by the media in Central Africa.

Participants will draw inspiration, among others, from the United Nations strategy and Plan of action to Combat Hate Speech. 

Journalists from the subregion would also consider adopting an ad hoc self-regulatory instrument aimed at committing them to prioritizing freedom of expression at the service of peace, particularly through media productions that emphasize constructive criticism.

During today's opening session, Tarhyang Enowbikah Tabe Executive Director Cameroon Association of Media Professionals on behalf of the Cameroon Delegation pledged the support of media professionally in the fight against hate speech and xenophobia which has gradually and steadily eaten deep into our communities, regions, nation and Continent.

Tarhyang Enowbikah Tabe Executive Director Cameroon Association of Media Professionals

The United Nations and its partners stand  ready to accompany the media in this perspective and to support ECCAS in achieving its objectives regarding the development of a regional strategy against hate speech in Central Africa which is one of its key priorities for 2022.

Following this workshop in Douala, a second Forum (communication regulatory bodies) is planned in Ndjamena (Chad) and a third one  in Kinshasa (DRC) regrouping media practitioners, regulatory bodies and other key actors  to refine and adopt the  regional strategy.

It is important to note that, in response to the alarming rise in xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia around the world, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action to Combat Hate Speech on 18 June 2019. 

This is based on the realization that over the past 75 years, hate speech has been a harbinger of the atrocious crimes that have followed it, including genocide, such as in Rwanda, Bosnia or Cambodia.

Pedmia Shatu

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

IIICFIP Cameroon institutes New Board

The International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals USA. INC, Cameroon branch has installed its new board. This event was commemorated on Saturday October 16th, 2021 during an annual general meeting at GFAC Hotel Yaoundé.

The IICFIP is a professional membership organization that brings together forensic investigators and also provides forensic investigation skills training to all that are interested, with aim to create a Common Knowledge Body for forensic investigation processes in the profession.

Carried out with a presentation of the qualifications of the newly installed, the African Continental Director of IICFIP, Dr Linus Enobi Akepe expressed joy as he presented the vision of the organization. “IICFIP’s vision is to be the leading forensic investigation accreditation training and standards setting body institute in the world by spreading our wings in all countries enabling members to automatically bring their clients global best practices in their performance of forensic investigation practices.”  This is due to the fact that challenges faced by forensic investigators keep changing as stated by the IICFIP Global Chairman, Pf K Rama Subramaniam.

Dr Linus Enobi Akepe, African Continental Director of IICFIP
The newly instituted team made up of Dr Mokube Mathias Itoe Country Director, Ndangoh Calvin Tah as Chairman, Bushu Emmanuel Secretary General and Francine Happi Afanji as Treasurer just to name but these.

Heading this team, the new Country Director Dr Mokube Mathias Itoe expressed his gratitude to his predecessors Professor Kelly .K Mua and Dr Michael Fossung for the work they have done while promising to follow in their footsteps. “Allow me to take a moment to thank Professor Kelly K. Mua and Dr Michael Fossung who have served IICFIP Cameroon in their leadership positions…I would also like to express my gratitude to them for the smooth transition process and the excellent exchanges and discussions we had since my appointment”

 He further stated that “I strongly believe that the main asset of IICFIP Cameroon is its newly elected executive and membership. I will work hand in hand with them, listen to them and lead by example”.

Stating his goal, he said “my goal is to make the institutions activities in Cameroon more dynamic, transparent and incisive in the coming three years…special attention will be given to the youth at IICFIP Cameroon country office. Our youth are the future of this country and the hope of a modern, thriving, developing, corruption free and prosperous nation”

Mr Mokube Mathias Itoe is an Administrative Officer with over fourteen years of experience working in the Cameroon Public service office. He is currently a senior official at the Cabinet of the Prime minister, Head of Government. He formally served at the Ministry of Finance for ten years where he gathered experience in budgeting, finance management, salaries management, risk management, coordination, fraud and investigation, mail management.

In the Ministry of Finance, he occupied the functions Head of the Mails and Liaison Service, the focal point for fraud and investigation in the Ministers Cabinet, and Bureau Head for Budget in the General secretariat. He is a holder of a PhD in Business Administration with concentration in Governance, a holder of two Masters Degrees in Finance Management and Accounting, control and Audit, with over seven international certifications.

Tantan Patience


Saturday, October 16, 2021

CAMP engage mid-term career journalists in Bamenda in basic knowledge on #CoronaFacts owing to infodemics in this #COVID19 Era

Group photograph of Participants, CAMP official and trainer 
Over 20 mid-career media professionals draw from media outlets in Bamenda have on Thursday 14 October 2021, come together under the umbrella of the Cameroon Association of Media Professionals (CAMP) to gain knowledge on covid 19 response fact checking. 

Organized in collaboration with the European Union and UNESCO, the one day workshop taking part simultaneously in the littoral and North regions of the country as well had as aim to equip these media practitioners with knowledge on basic fact checking skills, understand the importance of information verification and how to carry out a successful fact checked story. 

Participants in session

Facilitating the workshop, Padmia Shatu the founder for Global Initiative for Digital Inclusion and Communication (GIDICom) , digital right activist and certified fact checker pointed out basic facts of feck checking, taking note of who made an online post, and the purpose for such a post. Stating that the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic has been amplified by the accompanying “infodemic” of false and misleading information. She further told the participants to note the fact that “false and misleading information puts people’s health and lives at risk reason why these mid-career journalist should always know the effect of every fact checked story to the community. To conclude her presentation, Pedmia quoted “we need to sanitize not just our hands, but our minds too.”

             Pedmia Shatu, Executive Director GIDICom and lead trainer for the Bamenda                                              workshop

Worth noting is the fact that this workshop was graced with the National President for the Cameroon Association of Media Professional, Mr Agborem Solomon, who while addressing the participants, expressed nostalgia and gratitude. “. “It is the first time a top official of CAMP is visiting the North West region for an official assignment and to see how vibrant how vibrant the press core is fairing despite the challenges …. Let me thank CAMP members in the North West who have been on their toes to make sure this workshop is successful.” 
He further stated the importance and relevance of such a workshop “this comes at a time when information is being manipulated day-in-day-out, it comes at a time when the public is in dire need to make informed choices and we cannot be indifferent that to fill this gap by delivering trainings to update journalist who are affected by the realities on the ground. Fact checking goes along side trust and trust builds credibility. This credibility goes beyond a news organ, it takes the effort and professionalism of the journalist to counteract this misinformation, disinformation and to say the least fake news”. He said

Solomon Agborem, President Cameroon Association of Media professionals

Gilla Everdine a participant at the workshop says the workshop has impacted her and will help her go a long way “I learnt the what fact checking of news is all about and how to go about fact checking, the different ways on how to spot news. This training will help me in my career as a journalist as I now know that before sharing any information I should make sure it is the right information I am sharing.”  
 Created on December 10, 2005, the CAMP is and association specialized in effective use of information and communication technology for education, global information dissemination and access for development promoting democracy and good governance in national capacity building, promoting community health, cultural preservation, fight against social injustice thereby mainstreaming gender and poverty alleviation. 

By Tantan Patience

Monday, October 4, 2021

Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram Reconnect after 7hours, users breathe a sigh of relief

Surfers across Cameroon on Monday October 4th 2021, at about 4:30 pm discovered some interruption on
three of Mark Zuckerberg's social media platforms namely; WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg's social media platforms interrupted yesterday

Realizing this, most people thought their phones had issues or a general issue from their service providers. Roseline Obah Akah an internet user in Bamenda explains her experience " I only discovered around 5pm on Monday that the messages I sent on WhatsApp did not show the send signal which is supposed to be the tick. Then I thought maybe it was a general internet problem but I discovered I will receive notifications from twitter and Google then I decided to turn off my phone and turn it on again. I did that like 5times, Nothing seemed to work. I called a few friends and colleagues in other regions who confirmed that these platforms were down. This has grateful disturbed me because whatsapp plays a big role in the work I do as a Communication".

Just Like Rose, Tah Kennette another surfer regretted the fact that his scheduled meetings for the said day couldn't hold because of the interruptions.

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp took to their twitter handle to apologize for the inconveniences its clients were facing during the period of the blackout. It promised working to get the sites restored “Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

About 7 hours after the incident, the sites are now functional and they have taken again to their twitter handles to indicate though nothing detail has been mentioned on what actually happened.

The panic amongst internet users particularly in Cameroon during yesterday's occurrence was linked to the fear of another partial internet interruption whereas it wasn't anything close to it. A message on the Facebook website suggested a Domain Name System (DNS) error.

Downdetector, which offers real-time status and outage information for all kinds of services, showed there were more than 20,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram worldwide.

Pedmia Shatu

Friday, October 1, 2021

Two Years After Major National Dialogue: Achievements That Speak!

Following the outbreak of the Anglophone Crisis in the two English speaking regions in October 2016, the government decided to address issues that intensified the crisis. A move that was followed by the creation of commissions in the educational and legal sectors where their concerns were tabled. 

Convened by the Head of State, H.E President Paul Biya, the Major National Dialogue held at the Yaoundé Conference Center. This historic event which brought together Cameroonians from local communities, villages, urban areas and the diaspora, lasted from September 30 2019 to October 4th 2019. 

Paul BIYA, President of the Republic of Cameroon

With this opportunity granted to teachers and lawyers, they stated their grievances such as; the ambiguity on the higher education law of April 2001 regarding entry conditions and qualifications for students, low subvention to lay private and confessional schools and high taxes on education availability of the OHADA law in English restitution of lawyers robes and wigs.

2 years since the convening of the Major National Dialogue, 52 of these resolutions have been met with some bringing in new institutions to national life.

Chief Dr. Dion Ngute, Cameroon's Prime Minister speaking at the National dialogue

So far with regards to the complaints tabled by lawyers and teachers, achievements have been made by the Head of State H. E Paul Biya to make sure through the National Dialogue, solutions are provided. Through the dialogue teachers have been dispatched into the two English speaking regions by the Minister of Secondary Education, the dispatch of French speaking lecturers who are not fluent with English from the Universities of Bamenda and Buea. 

Governments actions upon grievances

Also the persecution of officers involved in brutalization of lawyers, with lawyers robes and wigs that were seized by the police were effectively handed back just to name but a few of the.

Governments actions upon grievances

The Major National Dialogue proposed the creation of a special status for the North West and South West regions. This was adopted and inserted in Law No 2019/024 of the 24th December 2019 to institute the General code of Regional and local authorities.

Governments actions upon grievances

This law grants a special status to the North West and South West regions with the Presidents of the Regional Executive councils becoming the Chief Executive officers of their regions. Furthermore, Public independent conciliators have already been appointed to these regions. They have as mandate to arbitrate  between users of council services and the councils concerned where there is a dispute or violation of rights.

Governments actions upon grievances

To further ensure that the over centralization of power becomes a thing of the past, the law gives room for 15% of the state budget to be devolved to the regions. As at now some 30 billion francs CFA have been devolved to kick start the activities of the Regional councils.

Governments actions upon grievances

Moreso, the government went forward to create a school for the training of local administrators who will hence assist in the delivery of council activities known as NASLA- National school of Local Administration based in Buea.

In the Judicial sector, a common law bench has already been created at the Supreme Court. The OHADA uniform act has also been translated into the English language.

Governments actions upon grievances

Those of this Corp await the creation of a law school and the recruitment of specialised interpreters in courts.

The fight against the slowness of Judicial procedures, the creation of the National Commission for the promotion of Bilingualism and multiculturalism, recruitment of 1000 bilingual teachers specialized in science and technology are other steps taken by government to arrest the current impasse in the North West and South West regions.

Governments actions upon grievances

Unfortunately, two years after these measures were taken, they have not generated the much needed effervescence on the ground. Ghost towns and lockdowns continue to be the order of the day.

Attendees at the Major National dialogue

Equally, since the Major National Dialogue, moves have been accelerated to reintgrate ex combattants by providing psychosocial support as well as the financing of several youth projects for the DDR centres in the Far North, North West and South West Regions.

By Tantan Patience

Friday, August 20, 2021

Humanitarian organizations in the North west region celebrate World Humanitarian Day

Organized by UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), humanitarians in the north west region of Cameroon have today August 19, 2021 gathered at the UN Common Compound in Bamenda to celebrate the World humanitarian Day. Celebrated this year under the theme Climate change and its impact on the most vulnerable people, this theme is aimed at calling for a breakthrough to slow the pace of climate change and build a resilience to protect the most vulnerable people from increasingly severe and frequent climate impact. To Antonio Guterres the UN Secretary General, this year’s edition is a “make or break year”

The United Nation have been present in the region since 2018 with nine UN agencies engaged in the humanitarian response with relentless provision of assistance to the population affected by the crisis. However, the prevailing humanitarian situation in the crisis affected regions is the main concern of humanitarians as since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of attacks against humanitarian workers in these regions. With four deaths recorded, some kidnapped, carjacking, diversion and delay of humanitarian operations the humanitarian community in the North and South West region then decided to adopt the theme “humanitarians are not the target” to advocate for the safety of aid workers in these regions as humanitarian organizations and their staff are neutral and should not be targeted

The day was also used to salute the courage and commitment of aid givers to providing relief to the affected and deprived population of the North and South West region.

The World Humanitarian Day  is commemorated in remembrance of 19th August 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq which killed 22 humanitarian aid workers including the UN Special Representative of the then Secretary General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years after this incident, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as the World Humanitarian Day.

Tantan Patience