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Cameroon gaming stars train new generation of business superheroes
21 August 2018 - Central Africa's first major video games studio, Kiro'o, trains young Cameroonians to navigate obstacles in real-life business. Subscribers pay 10,000 Central African francs ($17.50) to access a digital training manual, featuring cartoons and advice on how to find good projects, hire the right staff, and secure investor funding. They can also seek online and in-person mentoring from Kiro'o staff. (more)

From robots to girl power, getting Cameroon's women into work
30 July 2018 - Nearly one in three girls in Cameroon are married by 18 and drop out of school early. But new science schemes are hoping to turn girls into tech innovators. In a country where one in four girls do not even learn to read, Xaviera, one of about 20 young Cameroonians studying at the NextGen centre in Yaounde, is picking up the basics of artificial intelligence. The centre is the brainchild of Janet Fofang, a pioneering scientist and teacher who aims to train the future tech innovators of her country -- with a particular focus on its girls. (more)

As cocoa and coffee wilt, Cameroon's farmers spice up their harvest
3 February 2018 - For five years, Andrew Kombe said he and his family endured hardship as their coffee harvest dwindled, and their income along with it. Now the 49-year-old farmer is getting ready to harvest Penja peppercorns. The crop is named for the village where he lives, but the fame of this aromatic white peppercorn -- a favourite of gourmet chefs -- has spread worldwide. The pepper's certification under African intellectual property laws -- the name Penja can now be applied only to peppercorns from this area -- has boosted its exclusivity and its price. This has been a boon to thousands of hard-pressed farmers in the region who have seen their income from the more traditional cash crops of coffee and cocoa fall following a dire combination of heavy rains and severe drought, combined with a slump in prices on the international market. (more)

How to fight Boko Haram? Open a school
16 December 2016 - Religious leaders fearful of Islamist threat believe giving girls free weekend lessons will counter spread of militancy. As a military campaign against Boko Haram continues in northern Cameroon, leaders of the country's biggest mosques in the south are deploying another weapon to ensure that the Islamist insurgency doesn't spread: education for girls. (more)

Canada: Appetite for organic has Quebec's small farmers thriving
16 May 2014 - There's nothing new about the increasing demand for local produce; the farm-to-table experience, buying from small farmers within a 100-mile range, has been growing since the early 2000s when the locavore movement was launched in San Francisco. In Montreal, visiting the fruit and vegetable vendors at Jean Talon Market is considered a necessary pilgrimage for discerning foodies; the coolest restaurants serve local produce. Chefs from around the city wouldn't think of beginning their day without a trip to the market for the freshest produce or a daily delivery from a local grower. (more)

More local control may help climate preparedness in Cameroon
30 October 2013 - Local governments in Cameroon have gained a bigger say in development decisions, a move that many hope will bring relief to farmers suffering the effects of extreme weather linked to climate change. Farmers and local councils say that a decision by the government to devolve more development powers to local councils will lead to greater investment in maintaining farm-to-market roads, helping farmers avoid post-harvest crop loss, and supplying drinking water. According to the decree, all ministerial departments have until 2015 to complete transfer of various administrative responsibilities to the local governments. (more)

Cameroon crude output on track for 100,000 bpd in 2012
18 March 2012 - Cameroon is on target to double crude production to 100,000 barrels per day in 2012 after independent oil producer Perenco raised output from the Baf 3 oilfield to 50,000 bpd, an official at Cameroon's state-run hydrocarbons corporation said. (more)

Cameroon government cracks down on illegal logging
5 March 2012 - The government of Cameroon has intensified a crackdown on illegal loggers in a measure aimed at conserving the country's forest resources and combating the effects of climate change. Philip Ngole Ngwese, the country's minister of forestry and wildlife, recently announced the suspension of licenses for 27 companies that had failed to comply with legislation governing activities in the forest sector. (more)

Cameroon's 2012 growth seen at 5.5 per cent
6 February 2012 - Cameroon's economy is expected to grow by 5.5 per cent in 2012, a World Bank official said on Monday. Cameroon is the region's main port and breadbasket, supplying Chad, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, and Gabon. Non-oil economic activities, particularly growth in the primary and tertiary sectors, helped Cameroon's economy grow in 2011 to 4.1 per cent, and will be the main drivers in 2012. (more)

Cameroon: Yaounde Handicraft Show - ingenuity in craftsmanship
25 January 2012 - Some 20 craftsmen and women from the Republic of South Africa were present in Yaounde for the ongoing third edition of Cameroon's International Handicrafts Exhibition (SIARC). Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa, sees in Cameroon an investment destination and hopes frank collaboration on win-win basis would accelerate the two country's socio-economic development. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

79 students kidnapped from boarding school in Cameroon, official says
5 November 2018 - Armed men kidnapped 79 children from a boarding school in Cameroon's Northwest region, a local government official told CNN Monday (5 November). ... Anglophone separatist fighters calling for independence from Cameroon's largely Francophone government have been accused of kidnapping students in Cameroon's north and southwest region. (more)

Separatists kidnap 79 pupils in Cameroon's restive northwest
5 November 2018 - Armed separatists kidnapped at least 79 students and three staff members from a Presbyterian school in a troubled English-speaking region of Cameroon, the governor said Monday (5 November). A video purporting to show the kidnapped students was posted on social media from a group of men who call themselves 'Amba boys,' a reference to the state of Ambazonia that armed separatists want to establish in Cameroon's Anglophone North West and South West regions. (more)

Boko Haram, hit by 3-nation offensive, rampage in Cameroon
5 February 2015 - Nigerian Islamic extremists on the run from a massive, three-nation offensive took revenge Thursday on civilians in neighbouring Cameroon, shooting and burning scores to death, and razing mosques and churches. While Boko Haram had previously carried out attacks in Cameroon, the latest bloodshed comes after the group warned other nations against uniting against it and appears to be a direct result of Cameroon and Chad launching an offensive this week with aircraft and ground troops. Some 10,000 people were killed in Boko Haram violence last year compared to 2,000 in the first four years of Nigeria's Islamic uprising, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. (more)

Boko Haram threatens Cameroon with violence in video
7 January 2015 - A man purporting to be the leader of Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram has threatened to step up violence in neighbouring Cameroon unless it scraps its constitution and embraces Islam. The group, which has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in its bid to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, had also targeted Cameroon over the past year. Boko Haram has long been the main security threat to Nigeria, Africa's leading energy producer, biggest economy, and most populous nation, but it is also a growing menace to neighbours Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. (more)

Living in 'total fear' of Boko Haram in Cameroon's north
26 June 2014 - As the threat of Nigeria's Boko Haram militant group increasingly looms over Cameroon, its government has dispatched over 1,000 troops and heavy armour to the north. The scene in Amchide, a small village on the Cameroon side, shows how hard it is to police a remote area where militants have deep ties with communities on both sides of the border and can slip from one to the other unnoticed. 'We are living here in total fear because you don't know if your next-door neighbour is Boko Haram. And we don't know what can happen to us at any time,' said Samson Niba, who lives in Maroua, the main town in Cameroon's Far North region. Cameroon's move to bolster its northern defences comes amid stinging accusations from Nigeria it has not been doing enough to counter the threat. But a similar military deployment by Nigeria in its northeast has failed to stop Boko Haram attacking villages there almost daily and planting bombs in the capital Abuja. (more)

Cameroon: Industrial palm oil plantation displaces people, threatens livelyhoods
14 December 2012 - Campaigners opposed to a large palm oil plantation in a rainforest covering part of the Korup National Park in southwestern Cameroon say up to 45,000 people risk losing their livelihoods if the project proceeds. 'The plantation will economically displace approximately 25,000 people and put at risk many others who depend on that land for small-scale food production, hunting, and non-timber forest products. Thus, the net impact on employment will actually be negative. This is not a fair deal,' Nasako Besingi, one of the campaigners against the plantation, told IRIN. Campaigners argue that a large industrial plantation could destabilize the area's rich ecosystem and that the environmental and socioeconomic gains from preserving the rainforest outweigh the promised benefits from the plantation. 'Our people used to live in harmony with animals in this forest but recent forest exploitation, aggravated by SGSOCs bulldozing of forest areas', has upset the sensitive human-animal eco-balance, Besingi said, leading to a number of recent cases of elephants attacking farmers. SGSOC still lacks presidential approval and the project has been in violation of the law since 2010, say campaigners. The company had been clearing forest and developing oil palm nurseries prior to submitting an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) or obtaining the Certificate of Environmental Conformity as required by law. (more)

Foreign poachers target Cameroon elephants
4 December 2012 - Despite armed guards, Cameroon's dwindling elephant population is being decimated by heavily armed gangs of international poachers, according to a top official of the World Wide Fund for Nature. In the first quarter of this year, poachers travelled more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) on horseback from Sudan, crossing through the Central African Republic to reach northern Cameroon's Bouba Ndjida National Park where they killed more than 300 elephants in two months. The killings wiped out about 80 per cent of the park's elephant population. The high demand for ivory in Asia threatens the remaining elephant population in Cameroon and the Central African sub-region with possible extinction, said United States Ambassador to Cameroon Robert P. Jackson. Africa is home to roughly 600,000 elephants, just a third of the number recorded a decade ago, according to data released by the US embassy. Conservationists say that at least 25,000 elephants were killed in the continent in 2012 alone, due to the demand for ivory, as the bodies of the animals were abandoned after their ivory tusks were removed. It is feared that Nigeria's Islamist extremists Boko Haram could be involved in the poaching, as well as gangs from Chad and the Central African Republic, which surround northern Cameroon. (more)

WWF: Elephant killing continues in Cameroon
15 March 2012 - Soldiers in Cameroon are losing the battle to save the last elephants in a remote frontier park from marauding horsemen believed to be invading from Sudan, the World Wildlife Fund said Thursday. 'The forces arrived too late to save most of the park's elephants, and were too few to deter the poachers,' said Natasha Kofoworola Quist, director of the fund's Central Africa programme. 'WWF is disturbed by reports that the poaching continues unabated in Bouba N'Djida National Park and that a soldier's life has been lost.' She said at least half of the park's 400 elephants have been killed. This past year has seen an unprecedented increase in poaching of elephants for their tusks which are smuggled mainly to China and Thailand to make ivory ornaments. (more)

Cameroon: 126 arrested over independence protest
2 October 2011 - An official says police have arrested 126 protesters seeking independence for English-speaking Cameroon. The police official says they were arrested Saturday and Sunday for defying public order. They follow the arrests of 50 activists from the Southern Cameroons National Council who demonstrated Saturday. The official asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to journalists. The protest follows other recent unrest as 9 October elections approach. On Thursday, gunmen carrying signs opposing President Paul Biya blockaded a bridge and shot at police in the city of Douala. (more)

Cameroon attacks show pirates are heading south
19 May 2010 - An attack by gunmen on two ships anchored off Cameroon's major port of Douala shows pirates are extending their range in the Gulf of Guinea, an increasingly important source of oil to western markets. Two Russian nationals from the cargo ship North Sea, and a Lithuanian captain from another vessel were seized in the back-to-back raids 16 May. The raid is the latest in a string of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea -- which stretches from the Guineas in the northwest to Angola in the south -- and marks a shift beyond the Cameroon-Nigeria maritime frontier where most attacks have been clustered. 'There seems to be a pattern emerging. They are moving south,' said Rolake Akinola, Africa analyst at Eurasia Group. 'It is obviously a real concern. Douala is the hub for the CEMAC (Central African Economic and Monetary Community) region. Insecurity appears to be following increased investor activity.' (more)


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