Through the Scan: THE PERSONALITIES OF THE CAMEROONIAN DIASPORA
They are made up of world-renowned scientists, well-known and renowned experts who are in high demand, high-ranking consultants, mythical artists, political writers, great artistic creators, ambitious students, and a very hardworking pool of small workers .Although poorly presented as one of the most component, dynamic and skilled in AFRICA
Due to the lack of reliable data, it is apparently risky to precise the typology of the social, economic and cultural components’ of Cameroonian nationals living abroad. In fact, it is evidently difficult to say how many they are? What they are doing exactly? How many of them return to their home land? What is the average length of their stay? How many of them are permanently salted in their host country? How exactly are the constituted by sex, age group, or sector of activity? However, there is the existence of some rush, approximate and limited figure presented here and there. It is in this way that the total number of Cameroonian living aboard is estimate at 5 million, among whom 1200 Cameroonian engineers based in Germany, 1100 doctors practicing in the French Island.
This daunting exercise is mainly attributed to the increasingly intense and clandestine migratory movements, coupled with the weakness or non-existence of community groupings capable of mobilizing, federating and counting the strata of the community in the host countries .In the observers are the opinion that there is an impression of cleavage and disposal within the Cameroonian Diaspora ,translated into concrete terms by an absence of inclusive representation, whose aim would be, the defense of common causes .Meanwhile, it is evidenced that the Diaspora grouping are reduced to a multitude of partisan, ethnic or cultural associations (Bassa, Bamilékés, Douala, Bamoum, Bakwéri…)as well as to a few human rights defending movements:(Belgian-African Circle for human promotion, International Solidarity Action, Cameroon League for human rights, ect.)
While all these and other initiatives show a concern for mobilization and action, they do not, according to a certain opinion, evade the overall impression of a Diaspora which is less concerned by the main events of their country of origin. Nonetheless, despite the weaknesses characterized by a world of cleavages, divisions and individualistic practices, even in the absence of a community-based and structuring approach of a unifying vision, the Diaspora can however boast of the formidable individual successes that call for respect and admiration throughout the world. Thus, even in the absence of any structured organization, we should indeed note that in Europe, certainty corporations are dominated by Cameroonians’ good illustration is the Association of African pharmacists in France, of which two-thirds of the members are Cameroonian! These compatriots generally own their pharmacies.
In the field of medicine, it is noted that Cameroonian medics practicing around the world are estimated intens of thousands… It is evident to high-hat that there are high level clinicians who are daily solicited by prestigious patients. This is the case with Professor Roger BEDIMO, graduate from the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital (CUSS), who for many year has been playing a leading role in the treatment of infectious diseases in the State of TEXAS in the United States. Dr .Ivo Azehis an oncologist at ESSEN in Germany and President of the Carnfomedico Association bringing together over 300 specialized doctors. In the media and communication sector, there is an overflow of Cameroonian who either fascinates or annoy as the case may be. Let us take for instance the case of the recruitment of Denise EPOTE at TV5 world since she left Cameroon in 1991, where she occupied all the various in-house positions of this TV channel before being promoted to the position of Director of TV5 Africa. It is also worth to highlight the case of Constant NEMALE, who after working as the Director of Information at 3 A télé Sud, founded since 2008 the African-wide channel, African24.
Marie Roger BILOA worked “JEUNE AFRIQUE”, before taking over as head of the “AFRICA INTERNATINAL” magazine in 1991.She is currently the owner of a number of new sappers playing a leading role in this sector such as Africa Magazine International and [ici les gens du Cameroun et du Gabon”. In the musical sector, the mythical Manu DIBANGO has since long become a legend. The bass payers, Jean DIKOTO MANDENGUE, Vicky EDIMO, Etienne MBAPPE, André MANGA, and Richard BONA are counted among the world’s elite. In the field of innovative technologies, Ernest SIMO was the first in 1984 to install the VSAT system (a two-way satellite communication technology)in Memphis, USA ,which later had a decisive contribution to the implementation of CDMA(Code Division Multiple Access),an application of the cellular system…He is counted among the 50 most distinguished scientists in the world. In the literary field Calixte BYALA, a talented novelist, has won three prestigious literary prizes in the past over twenty years. The Douala native is among the most widely read and translated authors in the world. Leonora MIANO, in her forties, has on her part received the prestigious Famine prize for her romance “la saison de l’Ombre” in 2013.She is the second African Female to receive this award. Keen observes see her to be the future winner of the Goncourt prize .This panorama of Cameroonian excellence abroad could be prolonged.
All in all, the Cameroonian Diaspora is made up of not only leaders and executives, but of average workers with little or qualifications, who “went in search for greener pastures” who now make up the majority in number due to the reversal of trend in the early 1990’s and the gradual shift from study immigration to labor migration, fueled by the economic crisis which forced the authorities to drastically restrict the number of scholarships abroad. Despite the difficulties of being constituted into a community of actions, interests and objectives, the Cameroonian Diaspora constitutes a formidable reserve of asset and knowledge. When analyzed in its various components, can the organized, structure and mobilized Diaspora potentially represent a leverage of weight to favor the economic and social development of Cameroon? It is probably this inclusive and realistic perception that led the Government to create a Department of Cameroonians Abroad in 2013 within the Ministry of External Relations. Since then, many positive developments are being noticed. The best is yet to come.