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Yaounde To Host Afro-Arab Technical Training Centre 

By Leocadia Bongben

The Arab-Cameroon Cooperation has materialised with the imminent construction in the days ahead of an Afro-Arab Technical Training Centre in Yaounde.

In order to evaluate the progress of the project so far, the Director of Arab Fund for Technical Assistance to African Countries, Nouri Betelmal, is on his second visit to the country. Speaking to the press, Nouri said he has discussed the details concerning the establishment of the project which is the first for the Fund in Africa, with the Minister of the Economy Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze.

He said the Arab Fund decided to construct the Centre in Cameroon following their interest in the project, adding that Cameroon has good management to run such a project with good benefits for itself and neighbouring countries. The Centre practically would organise training programmes, and it has been agreed that training should start in agriculture, Nouri said.

The programme scheduled to commence as soon as possible would organise both short and long term training for qualified persons, he added. Assessing the state of technology in Africa, he said most African countries are basically agricultural nation but lack experts and technicians to develop the sector. By training the people to be able to develop their economy, the project would have achieved its aim, he said. 

The government has, therefore, identified their training needs in the training and refresher courses in the technical and professional domain to include mines, agriculture and research in production, agro-forestry, amongst others. Cameroon’s Ambassador to Egypt, Mohamadou Labarang accompanying Nouri, identified some of the projects partly sponsored by the Arab League in Cameroon to include the construction of the Douala-Yaounde road, Yaounde towards the border with Gabon amongst others.

The Arab -Cameroon cooperation focuses on the domains of infrastructure, health, education.
The University of Yaounde I has allocated office accommodation for the project prior to the construction of its permanent structures. The Director of the Arab Fund was shown round the structure by the Rector, Bouba Oumarou.  

Appease Witches

Meanwhile, the Chief of Ebormojom, Richard Ngoumou Basile, cautioned the Director of the Arab Fund that the success of the project largely depends on the appeasement of the witches of his village.

He sounded this warning to Nouri during a visit to the village a few kilometres from Yaounde, to appraise the land allocated in Mbankomo for the construction of the Afro-Arab Technical Centre. He insinuated that other projects in the past destined for the village full of witches have failed because the initiators did not appease the sorcerers.  

Some of the failed projects are said to be the construction of the Jamot Hospital which was relocated to its present site in Yaounde and the dilapidating District Hospital constructed in 1935 that can no longer succour the villagers. Chief Ngoumou told his guest that he should bear in mind that food would be given to the witches to appease them during a ceremony where traditional rites would be performed and information to be conveyed to the notables and the locals.

He added that if after eating the food the witches attempt to sabotage the project, they would die. Speaking to the press earlier, he claimed to know all the big witches of his village and that if they refuse eating the food, they would be held responsible by one of the witches who would say; "attempt to stop this project and see what I will do to you."

The Minister of State Property and Land Tenure, Pascal Anong Adibime re-allocated the 5km square piece land initially reserved for the construction of Jamot Hospital in the 1950s. Since the population was not compensated at the time, Chief Ngoumou said he would explore avenues of getting them compensated this time since it is a completely different project.

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