The Limbe population and the entire Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) workforce are still in shock following the death of the General Manager, Henry Njalla Quan, yesterday December 13, 2012 in his Limbe home. At press time, the CDC's top management under its Acting General Manager, Franklin Ngoni Njie, was meeting to have funeral modalities.
Born in 1949 in Victoria (today's Limbe), Henry Njalla Quan will be remembered for his innovative approach at the helm of the CDC since 1998 when he was appointed General Manager by Presidential decree. The CDC, Cameroon's second largest employer (about 20,000 employees) after the State, witnessed its greatest extension drive in recent years thanks to Njalla Quan's expertise. The CDC today has extended from its bastion in Fako Division to far away Donga Mantung in the North West Region and Manyu Division of the South West Region. Njalla Quan was very innovative to extend the rubber component of the CDC to Donga Mantung where he convinced individuals and groups to establish contractual privately-owned farms to become CDC frontline partners. Meanwhile in Manyu, both the rubber and the palm sectors were introduced to smallholder individuals and groups. Njalla Quan's extension initiatives also led to the creation of the CDC Boa Plain plantations in Ndian Division and Matouke.
Until his death, Njalla Quan was President of Cameroon Banana Producers' Association (ASSOBACAM). He earned this position thanks to his ingenuity in extending the banana market to many more European buyers and by introducing the Cameroon "Makossa" label of banana which is cherished in the various shelves in the international market.
Apart from the giant agro-industrial CDC which he managed, Njalla Quan was equally a sports lover and had created the famous Njalla Quan Sports Academy which today boasts as the only First Division club in the South West Region. He also sponsored other sporting events including the famous Njalla Quan Sports Academy marathon between Idenau and Limbe involving international athletes.
For many years running, Njalla Quan was one of the chief spokespersons of the Central Committee of the ruling CPDM Party for his constituency in Fako Division. His vision, tact and reconciliatory character helped build bridges among political contenders in Fako Division. Elsewhere, Njalla Quan was a socialite, and a guitarist; always ready to stage at the slightest opportunity. His lyrics soothed many dancers on every floor where he entertained. He was a high-spirited orator who could conveniently keep any audience spellbound wherever he addressed them.
Prior to his death, Njalla Quan had been absent from the CDC for close to six months due to illness. The shadow of the tall gait personality of Njalla Quan will remain to linger in the minds of all who knew and accosted him.