Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog

Technic and Culture?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:36 AM, ,

Dry Fruit Stall

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:17 PM, ,

Bafaws Showcase Their Culture

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It was during a grand cultural festival organized in Yaounde last Saturday. he Bafaws from the national and international spheres converged on Yaounde, August 20-21st, to display their rich culture. The event, massively attended, was their grand cultural festival. It was a time of stock taking, with much from the Bafaws on the spotlight. Exhibitions on some prominent Bafaws were on the limelight. Visitors were also thrilled to typical Bafaw tradition through sketches, displays of some classical Bafaw dishes. Also notable during the event was the display of traditional, modern and theatrical pieces by the famous dramatist, Victor Elame Musinga of the Musinga Drama Group International. It was veritable display of the microcosm of what Cameroon has in terms of culture.

Speaking at the grand cultural evening, the Coordinator of the Organising Committee, Mrs Lydia Efimba, said the cultural jamboree, dubbed "The Bafaw in National Unity and Development", was to celebrate the Bafaw culture and also reassert their commitment to national unity and integration. "This commitment started decades ago when many Cameroonians and foreigners fleeing from areas of conflict, crossed hostile zones to find haven in Bafaw land. They found a peaceful people that not only welcomed 'strangers' but also encouraged them to settle down with their families and prosper. This gesture of friendliness and good neighbourliness has contributed in no small way in ensuring peace in our country", she said.

Minister Ama Tutu Muna of Culture hailed the Bafaws for their rich cultural heritage and their move in fostering national peace. She said culture is one's identity that needs not only to be promoted, but also to be preserved.

Nfon Victor Eseminsongo Muteke, Paramount Chief of the Bafaws, representing the ten chiefs of the tribe was treated to a wonderful display of the Njoma dance, reserved for chiefs. He couldn't hide his happiness by joining the dance group, an act that is rare in the Bafaw land.

It is worthy to note that the Mbum m'Bafaw cultural festival has always held in the various ten villages that make up the Bafaw clan. It was the first time the jamboree went national. According to the organisers, this move was to revive their culture and draw people to subsequent editions of the Mbum in Kumba or any of the Bafaw villages. It is hoped that the upcoming event, will promote cultural tourism and boost economic activities.

The Bafaws, are a Bantu people, covering a total area of 247.8 square kilometres, found in the 10 villages of North Kumba, Meme Division, in the South West Region of Cameroon.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:39 PM, ,

Your Madness Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon (Ohio RIS Africa Series)

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Women's writing in Cameroon has so far been dominated by Francophone writers. The short stories in this collection represent the yearnings and vision of an Anglophone woman, who writes both as a Cameroonian and as a woman whose life has been shaped by the minority status her people occupy within the nation state.

The stories in Your Madness, Not Mine are about post colonial Cameroon, but especially about Cameroonian women, who probe their day to day experiences of survival and empowerment as they deal with gender oppression from patriarchal expectations to the malaise of maldevelopment, unemployment, and the attraction of the West for young Cameroonians.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:37 PM, ,

The Bafaws

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The Bafaw community has for the past years organised cultural jamborees in the ten villages that make up the clan to uphold their cultural heritage. This year, the cultural group has decided to hold this great event in the nation's capital to better sell their image to the national and international communities. The Grand Bafaw Cultural Festival to hold at the Younde Conference Centre from August 20-21 aims at showcasing the rich cultural diversity and dynamism of the people of Bafaw.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the event, the General Coordinator, Mrs Lydia B.Efimba, said it is a custom, period of stock taking, feasting and above all an occasion to attract and promote cultural tourism as well as boost economic exchanges. The festival will hold under the theme, "The Bafaw in Unity and Development". To Dr. Col. Ashu Balimba, adviser to the Bafaw Cultural and Development Association, BAFCUDA, unity is engrained in the fabric of the Bafaw people. Before independence, one of the shining stars of Cameroon's Independence and Reunification who fought with logic and steadmanship was a paramount chief of Bafaw, he said.

To further justify the theme, he said the community is blessed with fertile land and is the first to get involved in large scale cocoa farming. They further moved from cocoa to rubber and to coffee and timber exploitation, he continued. By so doing, the Bafaws have and are still contributing enormously to the development of Cameroon, Col. Ashu concluded. At a time of strife in Cameroon, the Bafaw people played the role of "trouble shooters", the General Coordinator corroborated. However, the plight of the Bafaw people like others in the different corners of the country is to see the area better developed. "As Oliver twist who asked for more, our wish is to see more roads constructed in this part of the country", she underlined.

For two days, a lot on Bafaw cultural heritage will be on the spot light. They include; an exhibition of the Bafaw artefacts, their past in music in all its forms; traditional, choral and modern. Theatrical display by the Dramatist, Victor Elame Musinga, of the famous Musinga Drama Group International, and a display of traditional dishes.

The Bafaws, a Bantu people, covering a total area of 247.8 square kilometres, found in the 10 villages of North Kumba, Meme Division, in the South West Region of Cameroon, have a rich culture that is fast being windswept, and need urgent revival, reason for a grand cultural jamboree.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:10 PM, ,

Regarding the construction project

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“The Royal Rehabilitation Centre” (RHC)
The Royal Humanitarian Development Reformation Centre” (RHDRC)
in the north-west region of Cameroon.
The traditional forms of medicine from Africa, Asia and South America appear to enjoy a popularity even in the classic industrialized countries, where there is a growing recognition of the ancient knowledge of the east. Even the global pharmaceutical industry sends teams into far away regions to profit from the knowledge of the local people.

In Africa the Republic of Cameroon is specially known in this context due to the personal attention of HRE Ambassador Dr Simon Leshey (I), King of African Cameroon Natural Healers, and representative of the Royal Development Cooperation Foundation. He is also the founder of the RHC and the RHDRC project.

The advisors of the King recommend measures for maintaining the traditional culture while keeping in mind the general economic situation and with the aim to keep the running costs as low as possible.

It is for this reason that the traditional construction forms, local materials, using natural lighting and ventilation as well as flexibility and autonomy of the infra-structure should be utilized and promoted. These goals are not possible to be achieved through the usual western-oriented technology. The current project is therefore also in this context extremely important.

CAT (NGO) has over 10 years of local experience in the field of Appropriate Technology. The NGO has received award from the president of the republic as well as prizes also in the individual regions.

With the assistance of the advisor to HRE Ambassador Dr Simon Leshey (I) it was possible to develop a team of experts, who shall take up the described challenges.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:58 PM, ,

Cameroon - Market Report

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Excessive heat and increasing levels of dust drove sales of wipes in 2009, with many people becoming increasingly reliant on general purpose wipes in order to maintain a clean and groomed appearance. Sales proved particularly strong in urban areas, with mid- and high-income urbanites relying on general purpose wipes in order to remain presentable while working.

The Wipes in Cameroon report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level. It provides the latest retail sales data 2005-2009, allowing you to identify the sectors driving growth. It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market - be they new product developments, distribution or pricing issues. Forecasts to 2014 illustrate how the market is set to change.

Product coverage: Boxed Facial Tissues, Disposable Pants, Economy Toilet Paper, Feminine Hygiene Wipes, Household Care Wipes and Floor Cleaning Systems, Light Incontinence, Luxury Toilet Paper, Moderate/Heavy Incontinence, Napkins, Nappies/Diapers, Personal Wipes, Pocket Handkerchiefs, Recycled Toilet Paper, Sanitary Protection Excluding Feminine Hygiene Wipes, Standard Toilet Paper, Tablecloths.

Data coverage: market sizes (historic and forecasts), company shares, brand shares and distribution data.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:47 AM, ,

Dialogue and Mutual Understanding

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Brenda Yufeh

The UN Information Centre yesterday organised a discussion forum ahead of the International Youth Day and Year of Youth.

Through a debate, sketches and poems that focused on the theme of the celebration "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding", the United Nations Information Centre in Yaounde have begun activities to commemorate the International Youth Day. The event which took place yesterday at the centre also marked the launching of the International Year of Youth. The forum which grouped members from the different branches of the UN systems in Cameroon, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, representatives of youth associations as well as members of the civil society, created an opportunity for the government and partners to highlight, examine and re-examine what has been done to improve the situation of youths in Cameroon, in particular and world in general.

Chairing discussions, Alain Sibenaler, UN Resident Coordinator a.i who is also the UNFPA representative in Cameroon used the gathering to acknowledge and celebrate what youths can do to build a safer and more just world. While reading the UN Secretary General's message on the occasion of the International Youth Day, Alain Sibenaler said today's challenging social and economic environment warrants a special focus on youth, for 87 per cent of people aged 15 to 24 live in developing countries. According to Ban Ki-Moon's message, the global economic crisis has had a disproportionate impact on young people who have lost jobs, struggled to find even low-wage employment and seen access to education curtailed. "As economics slowly begin to stabilise, the needs of young people should be paramount," Ban Ki-Moon underlined.

That is why during the International Year of Youth, the UN and its youth organisation partners will focus on the need to encourage dialogue and understanding across generations, cultures and religions. The UN Secretary General recognises that older generations themselves stand to learn a great deal from the experiences and examples of young people as they come to age in a world of accelerating interconnections. As such the UN scribe has called on members States to increase their investments in young people so that they can do even more in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Through a presentation from a representative of the Ministry of Youths Affairs at the discussion forum, it was disclosed that the government is addressing the challenges of youths through a National Youth Policy.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:47 PM, ,

Decade of African Women

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Brenda Yufeh

The Minister of Women Empowerment launched the event while celebrating the 48th Edition of the African Women's Day in Yaounde.

In a "standing ovation", women in Cameroon have saluted the decision by Heads of State during the African Union meeting to declare 2010-2020 the African Decade of Women with focus on gender equality as key to development programmes. The gesture was made in Yaounde on Saturday, 31 July, as women gathered to commemorate activities marking the 48th Edition of the African Women's Day. The Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, Mrs Marie Thérése Abena Ondoa nee Obama said, the fact that African Union has adopted the African Women's Decade (2010-2020), under the theme "Gender Equality and Empowerment of the Women: An Ascending Consultative Approach from the Bottom up to the Hierarchy", is an opportunity for African leaders to officially recognise the strategic place of women in the society and the multidimensional role they play in developing the African continent.

The Minister said the Decade of African Women is a period for women in Africa to celebrate achievement and mobilise for the future. Experts reiterated that the African Union's declaration will mean little if governments fail to ratify and implement the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women. The Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family noted that the government has put in place strategies to integrate women in all sectors of development, increase their access to education, health and employment while putting in place elements that safeguard their rights. But there are still obstacles to achieve equality between men and women, discrimination against women and the non-respect of the 30 per cent quota of women in decision-making positions.

Celebrating the 48th Edition of the African Women Day under the theme: "the situation of the African Woman 50 Years after Independence: Challenges and Stakes". Marie Thérese Abena Ondoa said it is time to look back and see what has been done and draw lessons from what went wrong, to correct and what was supposed to be done, to do better. Central to the decade of the African women is that women in Cameroon will tell their stories themselves. They will sit and see what is best to be done to improve on their condition which is not just to fight for their rights but also see what they themselves can do to improve their conditions and problems which do not come only from men but women themselves. The African women's Day event grouped several members of government and women who are refugees from Rwanda and Congo. Traditional fashion parade, cultural display and exhibition stands on the know-how of women graced the event.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:45 PM, ,

Miss Africa USA

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George Mbella

Lady Kate Njeuma successfully organised another edition of the beauty pageant at the Montgomery College Performing Arts Center in Silverspring, Maryland, on Saturday, July 24, 2010.

The colourful Grand Final and Coronation event was attended by African Ambassadors to the US, local elected officials, university professors, sponsors, friends, family members and a crowd of anxious spectators, who cheered the 32 finalists present, representing different African countries in the USA.

According to a press release from the Miss Africa USA Newsroom, Miss Fatoumata (Fifi) Souma, 21 years old, representing the Republic of Guinea-Conakry, was crowned as the African Queen of Beauty in the USA. She speaks fluent French and English and is a full time student at Montgomery College with a major in Communication. Fifi was given the mission to raise awareness and enhance the fight against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), as well as promote education of the girl child in Guinea by teaming up with charitable organisations across the US that serve needy communities.

Runners up were Natasha Beckley (Sierra Leone), Priscilla Boateng (Ghana), Coretta Antchouey (Gabon) and Roseline Amusu (Nigeria). Miracle Edison, the finalist from Cameroon who resides in Texas, made it to the top fifteen but failed to grab the crown.

Miss Africa-USA pageant is gaining popularity in the USA for it serves as a window to project Africa's rich culture and beauty in the USA. This year, the event was chaired by Valerie Ervin, Vice President of Montgomery County Council, who presented a proclamation to the Miss Africa-USA pageant. Other prominent Cameroonians who participated were Joseph Eyong, Aide to Valerie Ervin, Linda Arrey, the Pageant Coordinator, and Dr. Aretha Makia, a former beauty queen who hosted this year's event.

Besides organising the Africa-USA pageant yearly through the African Women's Development Foundation, AWDF, Inc, that she heads, Lady Kate Njeuma also plays key roles in mobilising Africans in the USA for cultural and philanthropic initiatives that benefit needy populations in Africa, in general and her native Cameroon, in particular.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:41 PM, ,

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