THE DIASPORA : A Constant support for « Major accomplishments »
They are living abroad. These ordinary or exceptional men and women are staying connected with their motherland. They are taking advantage of any opportunity to showcase their patriotism, and solidarity to families as well as their support to the “Major Accomplishment” Policies of President Paul Biya. It is time to move from humanitarian works to investment projects”.
The Cameroonian Diaspora has always reserved a warm welcome to President Paul BIYA. The demonstration of this warm welcome is expressed at the esplanade of their airport of the host country. Be it Paris, Washington, Bonn etc… Massively present in front of the pavilion of honour, the huge crowd of Cameroonian residents applauds the presidential couple. Well enthusiastic with their T-shirts and fabrics of the party stamped with the effigy of President Paul BIYA, the plural Diaspora is astonished. With sound of drums, they sing at the top of their voice and dance frantically. Shouts of joy are hailing and echoing in apotheosis the famous chorus of support “Paul BIYA father of the nation…” President Paul BIYA moves along to give multiple handshakes while passing and ending up with a huge crowd salute to the delirious satisfaction of his compatriots.
These scenes of closely bonded relations between Paul BIYA and the Cameroonian Diaspora explains the adherence of Cameroonians abroad to the policy of the man of the new deal. Moreover, support for the ”Major Accomplishments” policycled by President Paul BIYA is constant with the effective participation in meetings around the head of State of Cameroon. In addition to the audiences granted during visits abroad, it is important to note the broad participation of the Diaspora in the dedicated forums. The economic and Trade Forum with the Diaspora (FORECDIA) held in Yaounde, August 2010 had a very inspiring theme dupped “Diaspora: The True Actor of Development”
From Aid to investment opportunities
For ages, and like many other African Diaspora, the Cameroonians abroad are showing a direct solidarity to their families left back home. The majority of the money transferred is what is known as the “Western Union Syndrome” which is limited to food aid and basic needs for parents.
In the mean time, a handful of non-governmental organizations of the Diapora are involved insolidarity and humanitarian projects to favor social developments in Cameroon. They are grouped in associations in Western metropolises and return to remote areas to do charitable works: the digging of wells and boreholes in the villages; the construction of classrooms and distribution of teaching materials; rehabilitation of dispensaries and hospital equipment; presentations of free ambulatory care campaigns and donation of medicines to vulnerable populations, and other support to disaster victims, etc.
Its is within this frame work that corporalists associations (doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, computer specialists, etc) are contributing to improve the living conditions of their families and compatriots. Well-known illustrations are interventions of “VerienKamerunischerlngingenieureundinformatiker’ an association of 1200 engineers of Camerounian origin working in Germany. Most of them are former fellows of the State of Cameroon and, thanks to their gratitude, they want to contribute to the development of the country which has offered them quality training abroad.
In the same move to recognize the benefits inherent to their country of origin, health centers in Cameroon are receiving multifaceted health support from the “Camfomedics” Association (German-Cameroon Medical Society). Since 1994, this association has brought together 300 medical doctors of Camerounian origin practicing in Germany to promote sustainable health in the country of their ancestors.
Over the time, the analyses have evolved. The Diaspora is called upon to go beyong the logic of grants which is mistaken for aid. Of course, charities must not be abandoned, but it is recommended that those who have managed to distinguish themselves in these host countries and who combine enough funding and credibility skills, should put on the coat of pugnacious and rigorous investors. From weel-tailored projects, they have the right to expect a return on investment while at the same time offering jobs and contributing to improve on the growth rate in their country of origin. They, by so doing, become the best allies of the ”Major Accomplishment” Policy.
This approach encourages investment by the Cameroonian Diaspora in key sectors. Diaspora fund are a real opportunity to finance structuring projects. As a frequently cited comparative argument, the funds transfered by the generous members of the Cameroonian Diaspora to their country of origin, according to the World Bank, was estimated at about 585 billion CFA francs in 2015. It is 33% of the Public investment Budget (BIP). It represents more than 60% of the funding needed to implement Cameroon’s three-year emergency plan (CFAF 900 billion of 400 MW in the marketing in Cameroun.
Recently created by a Cameroonian Diaspora, Gabriel Eyete, this start-up is a catalyst for the investment of Cameroonian expatriates. The African Diaspora Project Management (ADPM) manages the projects and investments of the Diaspora in Cameroon by optimizing the chances of success. The objective for combining expertise and orienting towards competitive sectors, is to accompany five hundred investments by the end of 2017.
In all, from charity to solidarity, from gratitude to investment, there are many cases and examples to show the attachment of Cameroonian expatriates to their national triangle and their adherence to the policy advocated by its president. Actively working in the field, far from the media and columns of international newspapers, the Cameroonian Diaspora unwaveringly supports the action of President Paul BIYA for the advent of en emerging Cameroon.