Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Ambassador Michael S. Hoza’s Speech To Cameroon -- A Must Read

Good evening, thank you very much ...

Your Excellency, the President of the Senate Marcel Niat Njifenji;
Your Excellency, The Prime Minister Philemon Yang;
Your Excellency, the Minister of External Relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella;
Your Excellencies, Members of the Parliament;
Your Excellencies, Members of the Government;
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Your Royal Highnesses, Traditional Rulers of our different Communities;
Dear Representatives of American Businesses in Cameroon;
And a special welcome to the University of Buea Choir;
Ladies and Gentlemen in your ranks and capacities;

Welcome to the celebration of forty two hundred-first anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. This year we celebrate not only our independence.

We also celebrate sixty years of American diplomatic presence continues in Cameroon.

The event tonight covers both the United States and Cameroon, and commemorates sixty years of friendship and cooperation.

The story of our friendship started in the late 1800s with the arrival in Cameroon of Presbyterian missionaries.

Then in 1957, the State Department entrusted two Americans, Walter Cutler and Robert Foulon, the mission of establishing a small US presence in Cameroon in preparation for independence.

A month after their arrival, July 4, 1957, they opened the first American consulate in Cameroon as First Consul M. Foulon.

It was not only the first American consulate but the first consulate of a foreign country in Cameroon.
Ambassador Michael S. Hoza’s Speech To Cameroon -- A Must Read
They wanted to open the consulate on the day of independence of the United States because they knew that the independence of Cameroon was close, although at the time, no one was allowed to speak. The move was welcomed by Cameroonian!Since then, U.S. diplomacy in Cameroon has impacted the lives of many Cameroonians and no other partnership illustrates this better than the one between Cameroon and the Peace Corps, founded by President Kennedy in 1962.

The Memorandum of Understanding that launched the Peace Corps in Cameroon in 1962 was negotiated by then Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Paul Biya,

The program opened that same year with the arrival of twenty volunteers; since 1962, over 3,500 men and women have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Cameroon.

Ils ont appris vos dialectes et coutumes, ont vécu dans vos villages et ont travaillé main dans la main avec vos communautés.

In the early years of Cameroon’s independence, Peace Corps Volunteers had an outsized impact in the country’s educational development.

Today, many senior leaders in Cameroon can proudly name the Peace Corps Volunteers who first taught them English, Math, Physics or Biology.

Les volontaires du Corps de la Paix ont également engagé des jeunes camerounais dans des activités extrascolaires telles que des groupes de musique, des clubs de philosophie et des programmes d’éducation physique. Certains ont formé des équipes de basketball et de baseball!

And even boxing!

Peace Corps is a demonstration of the power of youth. Youth are a powerful demographic force in Cameroon. With more than 60 percent of the population under age 25, Cameroon is a young country. President Barack Obama initiated the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, to empower the youth of Africa.

Since 2014, 72 young Cameroonians have participated in the program.

They return from the experience in the U.S. energized and more committed than ever and constitute our most dynamic and influential alumni.

Young Cameroonian leaders are working very hard for a better future and we are inspired by them every day.

They are creative entrepreneurs, committed civil servants, and passionate social entrepreneurs and activists.

Youth voices are the future and I encourage you to listen to them.

The second great area of our partnership is health, a partnership that transforms and saves lives every day.

Center for Disease Control, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Peace Corps and the Department of Defense provide a multi-agency approach to building capacity of the Cameroonian Ministry of Health.

Through effort like the renovation of the National Public Health Lab, and the construction of the Emergency Operations Center, our partnership in health leads the fight against polio, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and virulent pandemics.

A third line of effort is to attract American investment! Our U.S. business model since I arrived in 2014 has been consistent—projects must have excellent technology transfer to Cameroon; they must create good Cameroonian jobs; involve good contract transparency and corporate governance; and engage in corporate social responsibility. We are pleased to report that, over the last three years, U.S. investment has risen from 200 million to over 2 billion U.S. Dollars.

And those projects are being executed by some of the finest U.S. companies, who are here to build a brighter future for all Cameroon.

One company that embodies all four elements of our American business model is Taylor Guitars.

They brought the very best technology, created good jobs for Cameroonians, and not only responsibly harvest ebony, but are actively engaged in planting more ebony than they cut down.

Un autre aspect de notre collaboration c’est la guerre contre Boko Haram. Cette collaboration militaire à marqué un tournant décisif dans notre amitié.

En 2014, le Cameroun, un pays qui n’a jamais été impliqué dans les conflits, a déclaré la guerre à Boko Haram.

Depuis lors, les États-Unis ont mis en priorité de leurs objectifs au Cameroun l’appui à la lutte contre Boko Haram et la restauration de la paix dans les régions du Nord.

À la demande du gouvernement Camerounais, 300 soldats américains sont actuellement positionnés dans le Nord pour appuyer les troupes camerounaises. C’est la première fois que les Camerounais invitent une armée étrangère dans leur pays et nous en sommes honorés.

While our soldiers have trained together in the act of war…

They have learned that the first duty of a soldier is to protect the civilian population.

We are proud of the Cameroonian Security Forces commitment to protecting Cameroonian citizens.

We are investing together in a future of prosperity and security. And I assure you that the U.S. is with you for the long haul.

This year marks the end of my tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon.

I could not be more grateful to you for giving me three extraordinary years.

Through my work here and my travels I have been blessed with discovering your beautiful country and its culture, and meeting Cameroonians from all walks of life.

I leave Cameroon full of hope for your future. Because I know that…

Whether you are young or old

Anglophone or Francophone

Man or Woman

Christian or Muslim

From the North or the South

Regardless of your pigmentation …

You are all Cameroonians in a beautiful country, with a very bright future ahead of you

Please join me in toasting sixty years of partnership and expressing my most sincere desire for many many more years to come.

Long live the Cameroonian-American friendship!

Please join us in the evening’s festivities. Cameroonian music sensations Xmaleya and Kemit7 will be performing tonight and I hope you will stay and dance with us! Source: cm.usembassy.gov/ambassador-hozas-4th-july-speech


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