Cameroon: Betamba Childhood Institution - Military to Do Modernisation Work

The Military Engineering Corps (GENIE Militaire) will carry out the three-year rehabilitation and equipment works.

Another concrete manifestation of cooperation and solidarity between government departments was demonstrated on July 26, 2017 when the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo and the Minister of Social Affairs, Pauline Irène Nguene signed a partnership agreement. The agreement empowers the Military Engineering Corps to carry out rehabilitation and equipment works intended to modernise the Cameroonian Childhood Institution (ICE) of Betamba.

The institution that is already delapidating was created by the French colonial administration in March 1952 and handed over to the Cameroon government in 1968. The rehabilitation and equipment work that is estimated to cost FCFA 1.598 billion is expected to last for 36 months covering the period 2017 to 2019. The institution is destined to receive morally and materially abandoned children who are confided by judicial decision for their monitoring and education.

Defence Minister Beti Assomo used the occasion to thank the President of the Republic, Paul Biya for authorising the signing of the convention. He used the opportunity to present the Military Engineering Corps which he said was created to intervene in carrying out works in different government instititions and said private individuals can also hire its servcies. He said it is not a commercial enterprise, stating that the corps is well equipped and is currently carrying out a series of projects.

Social Affairs Minister, Pauline Irène Nguene said the modernisation of the institution was taking place within a political-security context marked by the attack of Cameroon by the Boko Haram sect. The terrorists recruit stray children whom they use as suicide bombers. He said the institution has undergone some infrastructure and equipment degradation, qualitative and quantitative deficit in human resources, inadequate pedagogic programmes and low rate of attendance. The modernised institution will once more serve as the development incubator of socially disadvantaged youths.

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