Cameroon’s government under President Paul Biya is bearing down on a separatist movement fighting for the rights of a minority English-language region, using as its weapon a sweeping new anti-terrorism law introduced at the end of last year.
Over half of the African continent’s population is below the age of 25 and approximately 11 million young Africans are expected to enter the labour market every year for the next decade, say experts.
With kidnappings and violent attacks almost a daily occurrence in Nigeria, the disappearance of an American missionary appears to have stirred a new wave of outrage among the international community at the worsening conditions in the West African country, once considered a rising star and the largest economy on the continent.
“I’d quit my job before going to work in a place like that.” That is how a primary school teacher responded when IPS asked him why he had not accepted a job in Cameroon’s Far North region.
Legislators in Cameroon have voted in a draft law proposing the death sentence for all those guilty of carrying out, abetting or sponsoring acts of terrorism. The draft law, which is now being examined by the Cameroon Senate, call for punishment acts of terrorism committed by citizens, either individually or in complicity, with death.
“You can’t measure the joy in my heart,” Marceline Duba, from Lagdo in Cameroon’s Far North Region, tells IPS as she holds her grandson in her arms.
Under a scorching sun, with temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees Celsius, Lara Adama’s family is forced to dig for water from a dried-out river bed in Dumai, in northern Cameroon.
In Cameroon's Northwest Region, Judith Muma walks 9km from her home to her 300-square-metre farm. The vegetables she grows here are flourishing thanks to the money she has borrowed from her njangi
(thrift group) and a local credit union to finance a small artisanal irrigation scheme.
Issah Mounde Nsangou combs his 6.5-hectare Kouoptomo coffee plantation in Cameroon’s West Region, pulling up unwanted weeds and clipping off parasitic plants. For the 50-year-old farmer, the health of his coffee plants are of prime importance.
Motari Hamissou used to get along well with his pupils at the government primary school in Sabga, an area in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region.In the past, Hamissou also lived in peace with his neighbours. No one was bothered by his long, thick beard or the veil his wife, Aisha Hamissou, wore, or the religion they followed.
For the last 13 years, Michael Ndah, 37, has worked for three road construction companies in Cameroon, but it is only in the last two years that his current employer has managed to register him with the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS).
Pierre Zambo is a hotel manager in Kribi, a sea resort town in Cameroon’s South Region. In the past his hotel would have “more than 100 tourists each week. But today if I manage to have 50 people registered into my hotel weekly, then it's good business.”
Central African Republic refugees living in Cameroon’s East Region are increasingly becoming frustrated about their deteriorating living conditions and their inability to support themselves as conflict between them and and local villagers has escalated over depleting resources.
It is almost 6pm. A group of kids are plying their craft in a dusty, dirty courtyard in a poor neighbourhood in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. That craft is football. They kick the once-white-but-now-brown, aged football around. One child is barefoot, the other wears worn shoes and is dressed in the kit of the national team.
Senior defence officials say that Cameroon has been infiltrated by Nigeria’s Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and there are fears that this central African nation, known for its stability, is drifting into chaos.