Douala (AFP) In Cameroon’s port of Douala, corruption, bureaucratic red tape, overpriced services and a growing backlog have combined to put a major drag on cargo trade through central Africa’s largest harbour. More than 95 percent of Cameroon’s maritime traffic transits through Douala, a sprawling hub that serves as the main gateway for landlocked Chad and Central African Republic. But the procedures for clearing goods are a permanent headache, and very little gets done without greasing palms with extra cash, traders say. “There is high-level corruption at Douala port,” saysRead More
Yaoundé (AFP) Senate elections took place in Cameroon Sunday, as tensions continued to soar in the French-majority country’s anglophone regions where separatist rebels have been fighting government forces for several months. Senate elections do not take place by universal suffrage in the West African nation. Some 10,000 municipal councillors across Cameroon are voting for 70 members of the upper house for a duration of five years. Appointees to the 30 remaining seats will be named later by President Paul Biya. His party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC), already holdsRead More
Yaounde (Cameroon) (AFP) A government official was killed and a district administrator wounded Thursday in an ambush blamed on anglophone separatists in western Cameroon, a human rights activist said. The attack hit a convoy carrying a government official responsible for land ownership issues in part of the Southwest, who was killed. The area’s prefect survived the attack but was injured, the activist said. The report was confirmed by sources in the security services, but the government in Yaounde would neither confirm nor deny it. Unrest blamed on armed separatists hasRead More
Douala (AFP) Talking fast and dreaming big, William Elong shows off the first “made in Cameroon” drone at his sixth-floor workshop in downtown Douala, minutes from the economic capital’s Atlantic seafront. The 25-year-old, known as a high-flyer after being named one of Forbes’ most promising young Africans under 30, is enthusing about his new unmanned aerial drones and keen to promote his company and Africa as a place where IT and new tech can flourish. We must “get out of the Afro-centric vision of business” to “understand that when oneRead More
Yaoundé (AFP) Drivers in one of Cameroon’s restive English-speaking provinces have been banned from driving at night for a month, as tensions run high between government forces and separatists. Vehicles in five of the Southwest Region’s six districts are not allowed on the road between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am (1800 GMT and 0500 GMT) with the exception of ambulances as well as state and police cars, according to an official statement seen by AFP late Friday. The renewable ban, which entered into force at the start of the month,Read More
Yaoundé (AFP) An administrative official was snatched over the weekend from one of Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions in the second such kidnapping in a fortnight, state media reported on Monday. The man was taken by armed men near Batibo, which lies 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the city of Bamenda, and the same area from which another local official was taken on February 11. “The regional representative for social affairs for the northwest region has been missing since Saturday. He was taken while in his car in the BatiboRead More
Bamenda (Cameroon) (AFP) Cameroon’s main opposition party on Saturday selected deputy leader Joshua Osih as its presidential candidate to challenge the long-ruling President Paul Biya in elections later this year. Osih was elected at a Social Democratic Front (SDF) party congress in the western city of Bamenda after veteran leader and perennial presidential hopeful John Fru Ndi ruled out running on Thursday. Osih, a former businessman who hails from the troubled anglophone southwest of the country, told excited activists that he would mobilise the party in all 366 local authoritiesRead More
Yaoundé (AFP) Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists have killed five civilians and two soldiers in fresh attacks in Cameroon and Chad, local sources said Thursday. “A group of Boko Haram fighters made an incursion during (Tuesday) night in Assigashia,” a source close to administrative authorities in the northern Cameroon border area said, asking not be named. “The attackers killed five people and wounded five more.” The raid was confirmed along with the casualty toll by an official in the Cameroon security services. Assigashia is a border town which gives direct accessRead More
Bamenda (Cameroon) (AFP) Cameroon’s veteran opposition leader and perennial presidential hopeful John Fru Ndi said Thursday he will not challenge the long-ruling President Paul Biya in this year’s elections. Fru Ndi, 76, hailing from the troubled anglophone west of the country, has lost to Biya three times — in 1992, 2004 and 2011 — and boycotted the vote in 1997. Speaking in the western town of Bamenda at the party congress of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) he founded in 1990, Fru Ndi said he would “pass the torch toRead More
Douala (AFP) President Paul Biya of Cameroon celebrates his 85th birthday on Tuesday after 35 years at the helm of a country that today faces daunting problems, including a separatist revolt. “The Cameroon of tomorrow, which is developing before our eyes, will have little connection with the Cameroon of yesterday… Let us seize the chance and take up the challenge,” Biya on Saturday said in a speech on the nation’s youth. Three-quarters of Cameroon’s population, according to the most recent available statistics from 2014, are under 25. They were yetRead More