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Frank Dialogue Is Panacea To Anglophone Crisis – Canadian High Commisoner 

By Yerima Kini Nsom & Blaise Whumo

Rene Cremonese: Canadian HC

The Canadian High Commissioner to Cameroon, Rene Cremonese, says continuous and frank dialogue is the only way through which the authorities can arrest the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.

He made the statement in Yaoundé on February 21.

He was Guest at the 5th edition of “Cafe Politique”, a concept of the Club of Cameroonian Political Journalists, CJPJ.

While responding to questions from a panel of journalists, he said the Government of Cameroon and the disgruntled Anglophone population clamouring for the respect of their Anglo-Saxon culture, and a return to a two State Federation, should engage in honest and frank political dialogue which will provide lasting solutions to the crisis.

The Canadian Diplomat intimated that his country, Canada had hitherto faced a similar turmoil in the 60s when the Francophone extraction of Quebec rose against the Canadian Government to clamour for the respect and preservation of their French linguistic identity, heritage and values and also a change in the structure of the State to a two-State Federation.

This, he said, led to years of frank political dialogue and negotiation between the Government of Canada and the minority population of Quebec.

The results were the putting in place of several measures geared at reaching a denouement of the crisis. This included amongst others, the development of a policy of national languages, the creation of a Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism and above all the enactment of laws on the strict respect of the bi-jural legal system with the reservation of three seats in the Canadian Supreme Court for civil law judges from Quebec.

According to Cremonese, the Cameroon Government can draw inspiration from this Canadian experience and approach in an attempt to broker lasting solutions to the Anglophone Problem.

This, according to the High Commissioner, could be easy to apply due to the fact that the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, had lived the Canadian experience of resolving the Quebec crisis while he served as Cameroon’s High Commissioner to Canada for about 20 years.

He further stated that Canada is ready to assist the Government of Cameroon in sharing her experience if solicited. 

On whether the term Federalism should cause fear in Cameroon, he said federalism is one of the several forms of decentralisation. Thus it is left for the Government to decide on which form is best suited in addressing the current crisis in other to ensure effective good governance, the respect for human rights and socio-economic development.

 

Addressing the state of economic relations between the two states that share common values within the Commonwealth and the Francophonie, Cremonese pointed out that Canada and Cameroon have over the years enjoyed fruitful economic partnerships.

He said Cameroon is Canada’s biggest economic partner in the CEMAC Sub-Region with commercial transactions between the two states amounting to over FCFA 38 billion.

To him, Canadian investments in Cameroon have tripled within the last six years due to the ratification by both countries of the Partnership Agreements for the Protection and Promotion of Investments.

“Canadian investors in Cameroon have testified of the enormous potentials that Cameroon possesses thus attracting more investors,” he noted.

Worthy of note is the fact that Canadian companies have over the years invested in the educational, infrastructural and extractive industries in Cameroon.

The 2035 Emergence Plan of Cameroon plus the growing development projects which are ongoing, has opened more investment windows for Canadian investors to initiate win-win partnerships with Cameroonian authorities and business men.  

 

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