The Head of State yesterday, received New Year Wishes from both the diplomatic corps and national dignitaries.
All roads led to the Unity palace yesterday, January 02, where traditional New Year wishes to the Head of State opened floodgates of hope for the New Year, 2013. The stage was well set ahead of the two brotherly events; New Year wishes from members of the diplomatic corps organised at the Ambassadors' hall of the State House and from the national dignitaries at the banquet hall down stairs.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Charges d'Affair and Representatives of International Organisations had all assembled in a semi circle at the ceremonial hall by 11am when President Paul Biya appeared as scheduled. All were dressed in their official attires as earlier requested by a press statement from the Civil Cabinet; tail coats, dark suits, skirt suits and traditional regalia. The atmosphere was awash with solemnity and diplomatic coloration and as traditional has it, the ceremony kick started with a speech from the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Chadian Ambassador, Yoosem-Kontou Noudjiamlao, who took office in Cameroon in 2007 and presently serves as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps was visibly satisfied with the reforms put in place by the Head of State. The diplomatic corps, he said, has been following with interest projects on course initiated by the Head of State within the framework of the "vast construction site" vision.
The Dean, in effect, made a panoramic review of the national and international affairs hailing the Head of State for measures taken to foster the election process in the country, notably the institution of the Biometric voter registration. He equally made mention of the fight against corruption stating inter alia that the Cameroonian population visible adhere to the measures. Happenings in the Middle East, Africa as well as other parts of the World were handled in the speech. Africa, he said is no longer a place where only poverty, misery and epidemic thrive but where there are lots of natural and human potentials.
The president of the Republic, in his response made a retrospective look at two major things that marked the year that has just ended; the effects of the crisis that disrupted the global economy and the almost inability of the international community to resolve decade-pending problems as well as new crises arising within and between States.
As far as Cameroon is concerned, the Head of State reassured the diplomatic community of the country's determination towards recovery."..If, as I believe, we win the energy battle, we would be better positioned to develop an industry capable of processing our raw materials", he said, stating that the country is laying the groundwork for a modern infrastructure network that will ease the movement of people and goods within the country and to and from neighbouring countries.
While making a review of the situation in the World which is marked by a multiplicity of crises, he regretted that international organisations and influential nations have rather prioritised their strategic interest to the detriment of solving long standing problems that have kept many nations at each other's throat.
Whereas the first phase of yesterday's ceremony was marked by speeches, the second phase was basically a ceremony for handshake. Members of the national constituted corps fell behind their leaders to wish the Head of State a Happy New Year. The ceremony started a few minutes as the diplomats withdrew from the hall upstairs.
At the end of handshaking, the President took time to make rounds and exchange with his well wishers many of who were anxious to have him by their side. The ceremony ended with the pious hope that 2013 will bring even more progress to the nation.