AEP Mission to Yaounde- Cameroon Part 1

African Europe Platform (AEP) project was on a Mission to Cameroon Mid October 2013.
                                                    By Shey Tatah D.L Sevidzem

Cameroon is one of the 5 pilot countries selected for the AEP project, amongst Angola, Morocco, Senegal and Ethiopia. The Mission to Africa like wise Cameroon in particular was same.The Mission to Cameroon comprised of Dr Yera Dembele (Head of Delegation) from Forim, Alain Nkene Bene and Shey Tatah Sevidzem respectively for the host country. Those on the ground included Mrs Danielle Delange Gaha from the Government of Cameroon precisely the Ministry of External Affairs and Mr Mbarga Jean from the Civil Society.
 The Overall objective was to "contribute to improving strategic alliances and mutual understanding between
African diaspora organisations in Europe and stakeholders in the 5 Pilot Countries." While Specific objectives were to:
- Test and validate the desirability of [opportunity for] an Africa-Europe platform,
such as we are working on ;
- Collect the views and expectations of all stakeholders and gather suggestions on
the basis of a pre-established questionnaire on development cooperation ;
- Organise meetings and establish/improve strategic relations between diaspora
organisations in Europe, local authorities, and non-state actors in the Pilot
- Facilitate mutual understanding of priorities and constraints ;
- Test criteria for, and validity of, good practices [collected as part of the EADPD
- Obtain the engagement of the Pilot Countries through the signature by each
contact of a formal document of approval recognising the Africa-Europe Platform.

DR Yera Dembele & Shey Tatah

The meeeting which started on a public holiday Monday the 14th October gave room for the Team to meet as the Team leader Dr Yera met with the other members individually. This gave room for Private consultations and seeking solutions to the adjusted programme squeezed into three full workings as supposed to five.

Tuesday which happened to be the Feast of the Ram and another public holiday, opened doors for the team to meet other families and individuals and the opportunity enjoy the Capital city of Yaounde. One of the families visited was that of Pa Ndze Godheart (Uncle to Shey Tatah) and a host of St Patrick members who offered Dr Yera a warm reception to Cameroon.
Papa Ndze & Dr Yera

 Dr Yera as Tradition demands was offered a bottle of Whisky and asked to pour libetion as sign of respect for the Ancestral ground. This he did with a lot of enthusiasm
Dr Yera Pours Libetion
Dr Yera & St Patrick Family
Immediately after the libetion gesture, Dr Yera was urshered to the table for lunch with the rest of the family coupled with merry making.

He later was driven back to his hotel for a rest after a heavy meal with the family. This later in the evening called for another individual meeting aimed at adopting  the adjusted programme.

The Mission proper kicked off on wednesday the 16th of October and there was no other better place to begin with than in one of our sponsor country the Swiss Embassy in Cameroon.
Dr Yera & Swiss Ambassador

The Team & Swiss Ambassador
Shey Tatah & Swiss Ambassador
The Team through its leader presented the platform and project of the EADPD to his Excellency Mr
Claude Altermatt Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon who later expressed his apologies for not being up to date with the platform due to the fact that he was just taking over office from his predesccessor.
This later gave room for other team members to err their views amonsgt which were Shey Tatah in English while Mr Nkene Alain handled it in French.
Mr Claude Altermatt after carefully listening to the speakers expressed his wish for collaboration but at the same time did not hide his feelings for his points of interests which was wishing the Platform could also serve as a trusted body to handle migrant issues for the benefit of both "parties".
This was left opened for discussions in the future as the Team promised to deliberate on such challenges during their 3rd expert meeting in Brussels November 2013.

Both Parties left perfectly satisfied as positive and constructive ideas have been shared as well giving room for collaboration.

The Team stopped over at the Ministry of External Affairs whose Director heartily gave the Team a befitting Welcome. Due to time constraints the Team was obliged to reschedule the deliberations at the ministry to catch up with the Appointment at the European Union.

The boss of this department was flexible enough to adjust his program fit that of the AEP Team
Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relation & Dr Yera 
At The European Union (EU), The Team met with Mr Maxime MONTAGNER, Chargé de Programme and Massimo DIOMEDI CAMASSEI Attaché – Chargé des affaires économiques et commerciales. 

At the European Union, the Team leader Dr Yera presented the rest of the delegation, the platform and the objectives of the mission then later exchanged the nature the Platform has taken and the role it has played in its politics and activities.
Information on the notion of Good Practice that the European Union promotes was shared stating that Cameroon is a lawful country and action of Finance Planet.

The Ministry of External Relations was like the receptive home for the delegation. The Ministre Plénipotentiaire, Chef de division des Camerounais à l’étranger  Mr Billong Benjamin, opened the doors of his office wide open following up every move on all the activities, and providing refreshments that strengthened the delegates on a busy mission.
Mr Billong Benjamin
At the Ministry His Excellency Mr Billong Benjamin,granted audience to the AEP delegates. The delegates in turn presented the platform of the project to him, exchanged on the african Europe approach, shared on the expectations of the Platform Vis-a-vis the Ministry and the State of Cameroon.
Mr Billong & Team

Furthermore, views were shared on the concept of the focal points and the concrete points expected.
The team later discussed existing opportunities that could be useful to the platform.

This meeting ended prematurely as the Team had another call at the French Embassy with three different actors.

French Embassy Cameroon
The meeting at the French embassy to the reporter was a more challenging one, first because of the already existing similar projects that could help facilitate the process but met rather with challenging questions. Meeting the Team at the French embassy were 

Mme Marion Séjourné Attachée de Coopération (SCAC) ;
M. Parent, directeur adjoint de l'AFD; M. Pierrot, Assistant technique au secrétariat exécutif du programme "migration et développement" du MAE.
At the meeting the Team leader seized the chance to present the platform and the project and at the same time explained the Mission to the participants.

AEP & French leaders

Both parties shared views on projects carried out by the Diaspora. Marion on her part expressed the projects put in place by the Coopération Française and the role of  PRODESO that already have supported close to 30 projects in Cameroon, 17  of which are Diaspora projects in collaboration with the French Agents for development.

Other exchanges were shared on the importance and specificities of the role played by the Diaspora on transfer of Funds and Development.

The meeting drew itself to a more mutual understanding and setting of goals geared towards the realization of the project.

 This took the AEP Team to the National Employment Fond (FNE) received by
Mr. José Ndziga Obama Directeur de l’Agence internationale. He welcomed the Team and went forward to seek to know the reason for the visit. He was briefed by the Team leader Dr Yera who explained the platform and the Mission .

A power point presentation was made on the FNE structure and research. This gave the team a precise view of activities and the role played by FNE.

One of the outcome of this meeting was the shared view to become partners of the platform and mutual assistance. This was the last activitiy for the day as the Team retired to the Hotel though exhausted but sacrificed another extra hour to evaluate the day.
The Team was lady Invited at the Military Headquarters for Dinner at the residence of Colonel Fondufe Gilbert, who generously offered them food and drinks and invited friends to have a cosy time around the delegation. The reception was hectic and can only be expressed in images. 

Compiled by Shey Tatah Sevidzem (Wo Scandy)


  1. Good ideas which need to be concretized for the good of vast majority who are fed up with promises that are not geared toward practically helping them come out of their misery.

    Fr Tatah Mbuy

  2. Thanks Ta chu, it is our wish that our partners as well are committed and give us their word. This might be one of the ways to enhance development...