12 December 2005

Cameroon: MPs Want Forest Sector To Generate Jobs

House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril last December 9 presided over a plenary sitting devoted to questions and answers.

The Ngoa-Ekelle National Assembly hemicycle once more witnessed some hustling and bustling as Ministers took to the rostrum to explain why the forestry sector cannot generate enough jobs to curb the emigration of youths into Europe and also on the criteria used in selecting the provinces to benefit from the Japanese gifts in newly constructed primary schools.

The UPC MP, Hon. Pierre Sende called on the Ministers of Forestry and Wildlife as well as that of Industry, Mines and Technological Development to explain why the forestry law authorising the transformation of wood locally is not being respected. He went further to ask why wood transformation companies complained during Minister Charles Sale's tour that they lack raw material while logs of wood leave our forests everyday to Douala for exportation. In response, the Minister of Industry, Mines and Technological Development, Charles Sale stated that the exportation of some wood is authorised, adding that Cameroon is a transit country for wood from the South of the Central African Republic and North of Congo Brazzaville. The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Egbe Achuo Hillman further added that 50 per cent of the wood transformation industries are found in the Littoral Province while some are located in urban centres like Yaounde and Mbalmayo. As such, the wood needs to be transported to these areas. The two Ministers explained that more wood is being transformed locally but said the drop in the activity is due to lack of incentives to local industries.

As for the contribution of the forestry sector in curbing the emigration of youths to Europe resulting in shameful repatriation, the Ministers said youths must be ready to work and develop their country. Minister Achuo Egbe stated that his Ministry has an ambitious project to boost the Nkolbisson wood transformation unit, train more craftsmen to locally transform wood in the country and carry out a re-forestation programme.

Hon Jua Paulinus called on the Minister of Basic Education to explain why the North West, Adamawa, North, Far North and East Provinces have not yet benefited from the Japanese constructed schools. Minister Haman Adama said the choice of the area takes into consideration disparities in literacy rate as well as other partners operating in the sector. According to her the South West Province will in 2006 benefit from 10 Japanese-constructed schools while the turn of Maroua in the Far North and Garoua in the North will come in 2007. Other provinces will benefit in subsequent years.

The Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Amadou Ali in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations in charge of Relations with the Commonwealth, Dion Ngute defended CEMAC Bills. They were: bill to authorize the President of the Republic to ratify the extradition agreement between CEMAC member States; the judicial cooperation agreement between CEMAC member States; non-aggression, solidarity and mutual assistance pact between CEMAC and convention governing the CEMAC Parliament, all adopted in Brazzaville on 28 January 2004.

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