Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: Notaries Public Seek Improvements

The profession is yet to attract many in Cameroon due to the many hurdles.

A notary public is a lawyer or person with legal training who is licensed by the state to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.

To become notary in Cameroon, the candidate must be 23 years old and at most 50. The candidate has to have a degree in Law. After obtaining a degree in Law, the student has to go on internship in a notary's office after which the student writes an examination. When the student passes the examination, he still has one more year of internship.

If after training the notary finds that the student is ready to become a notary, he will be given an attestation and with that attestation the student can apply to government for an authorisation to practice. However, becoming a notary in Cameroon is not the desire of many due to the many hurdles in the profession. One of the major problems facing the profession is the slow process of awarding authorisations to practice the profession. There is the problem of reviewing of existing rules guiding the profession, and it is not well known by the public and sometimes misunderstood.

The President of the Cameroon Notary Council, Marceline Enganalim said there are still some students who have not yet sat the examination. But there is hope that in January 2013 they will have the exam. Apart from that, some notaries are accused of unprofessional practices which tarnish the image of the profession. The 24th congress of notaries which is holding in Yaounde on the theme "Legal security of real estate: The need for regulation instruments on the one hand and the seminar on the extra judicial role on land problems," is expected to train the notaries on the role they have to play on the protection of real estate and also improve the conditions of notaries.

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