The 3rd workshop on Cameroon-Nigeria trans-border cooperation holds in Yaounde this 12 to 13 December 2016, with focus on trans-border cooperation : challenges and opportunities.
Hundreds of officials and experts from Nigeria and Cameroon have gathered in Yaounde, nation’s capital of Cameroon in order to review stakes, challenges and constraints of both countries’ trans-border cooperation, their integrated border management as well as the areas and methods of operation to put in place in the days ahead. The ongoing meeting as described by the Head of the nigerian delegation is a collective desire of both countries’ Heads of States, a real platform of concertations and discussions that will unveil political, economic and social problems found in the Cameroon-Nigeria corridors. Dr Muhammad B. Ahmad, Director General of the national boundary committee was speaking this Monday December 12, 2016 during the opening ceremony of this 3rd workshop. He said several infrastructures were under constructions along the 2000 kilometres corridor. « We are jointly going to work towards the resolution of the remaining challenges. When i mean jointly, there has been established a mixed commission made up of Nigerians, Cameroonians and the United Nations. And the mixed commission established a sub-commission on demarcation and this sub-commission has to take the issue and conclude it. The major challenge is the Boko Haram insurgency and now that it has been degraded, the Presidents of the two countries have directed us to go and resolve the problems in these areas and we shall do it ».
Experts have underscored the need to enhance the cooperation ties already existing between both countries. Trans-border cooperation being a step towards development and the reinforcement of good neighbourhood between authorities and collectivities situated along the frontiers constitute a vision of development bearing all the dynamics of local development and regional integration. A trans-border area has to link two groups having the desire to live together and share all what they have in common culturally.
Jules Doret Ndongo, Minister Delegate incharge of collective territories in the Ministry of territorial administration and decentralisation while launching the ceremony on behalf of Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi, outlined the satisafaction of Cameroon’s government to host this cometogether with regard to the opportunities and interests along the border. The workshop which opens for the first time in Yaounde comes after the recommendation adopted in Oyo last January 2016. This workshop is therefore a continuation of several issues discussed before and a means to set up the pace on strategies to combat insecurity problems that plague the corridor. He added the fact that : « the workshop gives a great opportunity, notably to the two delegations to exchange and give information to one another on what is done on the field of cooperation particularly when it concerns people living on both sides of our common border. Some issues will be addressed, concerning notably security with the fight against Boko Haram, the fight against sea pirates in the Atlantic ocean and in the field of economy the issue of trading, many will be done as well as roads and infrastructures in these areas. We have on both sides, solid and heavy experts who will map out strategies during these two days».
Yet, as discussions unfold the various officials and experts present in Yaounde have been challenged to follow experiences and successes registered in other trans-borders cooperations. They are expected to have a series of experience sharing sessions with mayors and traditional rulers of Cameroon ; draft and translate the report of deliberations, read and adopt the report of deliberations and end with the signing and exchange of documents.
By Elise Kenimbeni