Contrary to some impressions abroad that Cameroon is a difficult place to do business, the outgoing British High Commissioner to Cameroon, Bharat Joshi, says his four-year tenure has shown that the reality on the ground is quite different.
The British diplomat was speaking on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at the Yaounde Mont Febe Hotel at a State dinner hosted by the Minister of External Relations, Prof. Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, on behalf of His Excellency, President Paul Biya. By liaising with government and British companies in the country, the High Commissioner said he found out that investors who follow official structures, abide by the laws and work properly, face no hurdles.
Joshi said he believes Cameroon is on course to emergence with ongoing efforts to tackle corruption and the adoption of a new Investment Code that have enabled companies to gain more influence. He pointed out that though the negative perception of the country's business environment persists, there have been great improvements in the last four years. In order to change the trend, Bharat Joshi said he worked with both the British and Cameroonian governments and talked to the media on the true state of affairs in the country.
He noted that this week's first Cameroon-Britain Joint Commission meeting in London will be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to the British business community that what they hear of Cameroon is not necessarily true. British companies in Cameroon, he disclosed, abide by some of the most stringent anti-corruption laws in Africa in carrying out their activities. The outgoing diplomat commended Cameroon for its legendary stability in what he described as an often volatile sub-region, adding that the country was about to realise its full economic potentials. He also lauded the peaceful resolution of the Bakassi conflict between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Earlier in his toast, Minister Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo said High Commissioner Joshi represented his country in Cameroon with professionalism and dignity, with his tenure seeing the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. He said Bharat Joshi worked so hard for the holding of this week's first Joint Commission meeting. The Minister noted that among recent British investments in the country is the hydroelectric dam project on River Katsina Ala in Menchum Division of the North West Region that is greatly appreciated by Cameroonians.
The outgoing British High Commissioner was decorated with Cameroon's highest medal, the Grand Officer of the National Order of Valour and offered gifts by the Minister of External Relations. The function was attended by several cabinet ministers and other dignitaries.