2 December 2012

Cameroon: Fraternal First Ladies' Concertation

Within the sidelines of the 24-hour official visit of the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema to Cameroon on Friday November 30, the First Ladies of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Chantal Biya and Constancia Mangue De Obiang respectively, held an in-camera meeting at the oriental wing of Unity Palace. Although nothing filtered out of the over one hour conclave, the cordiality with which the two First Ladies went in and out of the meeting room, characterised by hugs and smiles, depicted fraternity among people who share a lot in common.

And indeed, they know each other well. Both First Ladies have been working in the same direction to reduce poverty and suffering not only in their respective countries but in the continent as well. They are both members of the Pan-African anti-HIV/AIDS crusader, African Synergies Against AIDS and Suffering, which saw the light of day in Yaounde, Cameroon in 2002. They might have used their Yaounde conclave to seek better ways of deepening their already quite visible gestures in the fight against HIV/AIDS, poverty, maternal and infant mortality and suffering.

At some few minutes to 2 pm when the convoy leading Mme Constancia Mangue De Obiang taxied to a halt at the oriental wing of Unity Palace, a visibly elated Mrs Chantal Biya was already on hand to welcome her august guest. In all smiles, the Cameroon's First Lady hugged and ushered her visitor in for real business. Mrs. Chantal Biya was accompanied by Celine Ngoh Ngoh, wife of the Minister, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, while Mme Constancia Mangue De Obiang came along with Victorina Nchama Nsue Okomo, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in Equatorial Guinea.

In a typical African tradition, Mrs. Chantal Biya offered her guest a gift (stature of a rural African woman) to cement the bilateral relations existing between the two countries and apparently to also highlight the pivotal role of women in nation-building, a course the two First Ladies are jointly pursuing through varied activities.

The cordiality with which they discussed was once again portrayed when the two First Ladies boarded the same limousine to join their spouses for the State diner which Paul and Chantal Biya offered the Equato-Guinean First Couple.

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