Cameroon: Territorial Administration - These Daring Female Administrators!

Unlike in the past, 10 women today hold "command" positions out of the 438 in Cameroon.

Their number is still insignificant, but this sharply contrasts with the situation a few years back when they were virtually absent from the scene. Most female Civil Administrators serve in other positions in the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, MINATD and other ministries. For now, there are only 10 women in "command" positions in MINATD.

There is one female Secretary General in a Governor's office out of the 10 regions. Rachael Akono Ngazang is in the East Region. Similarly, there is one Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, in the country's 58 divisions. Antoinette Justine Zongo was on October 22, 2012, appointed SDO for Koung-Khi Division in the West Region, thus becoming the first woman in the country's history to occupy the position. There are eight female Divisional Officers, DOs, in the 360 subdivisions. Overall, there are 10 women in command positions out of 438 - that is, 10 male Regional Governors, 9 male Secretaries General in Governors' offices, 57 male Senior Divisional Officers and male 429 Divisional Officers.

The female Divisional Officers are Djenabou Oumarou epouse Abou for Gazawa in Diamaré Division, Far North Region; Amboel Clodine for Soumalomo, Upper Nyong Division in the East Region; Sop Moté Adeline Claude Françoise for Monatélé in Lékié Division, Messe Medjo Renée Grace epouse Essono for Bikok in Mefou and Akono Division and Lombo Sylvie Chantal for Metet in Nyong and So'o Division - all in the Centre Region. Others are Zainapa Amada epouse Boukar for Ngaoundéré III in Vina Division of Adamawa Region, Maimouna Mollé Moussa for Garoua III in Benoué Division of North Region and Lilianne Flaure Tchuinte Tsemo epouse Atangana for Bafoussam III Subdivision in Mifi Division of West Region.

Rachael Akono Ngazang was previously First Assistant Senior Divisional Officer for Mefou and Akono Division in the Centre Region, Divisional Officer for Yaounde 7 Subdivision and Secretary General in the East Governor's office since 2012. Today, she is the most senior woman in a command position in MINATD. "As Divisional Officer for Yaounde 7 Subdivision, I spent almost entire nights out of home because I had meetings to chair, reports to write, etc. It is not enough to say you are a woman, which is not a handicap. The Cameroonian woman must continue to work hard to deserve the confidence placed on her," she explains.

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