The original report was published in The Independent on Monday, November 7, 2011
Three keys to stability
According to Clobert Tchatat, Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Cameroon “is greatly diversified in the composition of its population, religions, languages
This diversification makes Cameroon particular; no one dominates the other. We are so many that we learn to live together. This is a fundamental element concerning the strength of Cameroon’s stability.”
Rather than hinder unity, ethnic and regional diversity have helped shape a wide-reaching national identity for Cameroon.
As Catherine Bakang Mbock, Minister of Social Affairs, said at a United National Social Development Commission panel meeting, social integration has pride of place in Cameroon.
Mr Tchatat points to his country’s history as another contributing factor to the stability that Cameroon enjoys today. When Cameroon was working towards achieving its independence from France and Britain in the 1950s and 60s, some regions were harder hit. “In the end everyone said ‘never again’ because we learnt through this instability that we lose a lot – there is loss of human lives, economic activities and so on,” he says.
Mr Tchatat goes on to explain that the third pillar of Cameroon’s strength is the wisdom of the Head of State: “Due to his knowledge of his country and its population, President Biya succeeded in managing a period of transition without doing any damage, while elsewhere the Governments had to be overthrown.”
Former US Ambassador to Cameroon Janet Garvey said that the US believes that Cameroon has the potential to be a leader and role model for Central Africa in terms of security and political stability.
CAMEROON PROJECT TEAM: Fernando de Delas, Mina Catherine Lakrafi
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