Gov’ts Achievements in NW/SW : Buea University, Mark of the New Deal
The tertiary institution of learning based in the South West Regional capital is sustaining milestone human and material growth.
The story of the University of Buea (UB) begins from a social struggle. It builds on the genuine need to decentralise learning in Cameroon. These days, the UB is, by its location, taking the twist of a trainer of the minds and the hands to handle a special status now assigned for Anglophone Cameroon.
Thanks to a New Deal, Presidential decree in December, 1992, the former West Cameroon gained its first University 31 years after forming an integral part of Cameroon in October, 1961. The decree transformed the existing ASTI (Advanced School for Translators and Interpreters) into the full-fledged University of Buea, lovably referred to as “the place to be”. Its budget for 2020 was adopted last 12 December at CFA 11.206.007.425 during their 36th Meeting of Council (highest governing body).
Twenty eight years down the road, UB is keeping a pace of expansion both in infrastructure and supra-structure. The UB is tackling this academic year (2019/2020) with 165 fresh Lecturers as its own quota of the 2,000 Ph.D. holders instructed by the Head of State to be recruited until 2021. From an initial 130 allocation, UB was favoured to climb to 165 to meet special needs. It is an enforcement of supra-structural needs to teach the 9,700 freshmen and graduates admitted this year totalling a 20,000-student population in the UB campus.
While the University rejoices over the supra-structure of fresh hands in teaching, the institution continues this year with four new infrastructural projects. The first is the gigantic building for the ASTI apparently finished but for fittings. It will serve to provide sitting space for learners, offices for staff and other needs relieving ASTI from their current squeeze. Its first phase is said to be completed.
The second project is the poultry unit for the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. It is made of a battery-cage and a rearing house, profitable to both students and teachers of that segment of learning. This is a government endeavour to valourise Agriculture with adequate training for its components of crop and animal farming. The third project to mention in UB is the halls of residence face-lifted in glamour. Also, a structure of four wings is underway in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology to accommodate classrooms, laboratories and staff office space.
The UB place-to-be has a total of 430 staff men and women among who are 22 Professors, 87 Associate Professors, 165 Lecturers, 141 Assistant Lecturers and 15 Instructors. The reputation of UB is captured from far and near. In a recent strive, a UB researcher came out with a discovery of the Plasmodium falciparum protein carrying a potential to be a malaria vaccine. The invention was named UB0509 and funded by the International Society for Infectious Diseases based in Brookline (USA). This work, headed by Dr. Dinga Jerome Nyhalah, is by all standards a futuristic preserve. Equally remarkable was a short course organised in the Board room of the Faculty of Science mid 2019 on “Design and enforcement of a building code for earthquake prone Region of Mount Cameroon”. This course was attended by over 60 participants including Scientists, Structural Engineers, Architects, Seismologists, Mayors and Traditional Rulers. It was directed by Professor Ayonghe Samuel who has regularly organised sensitisation to alert the population on the dangers of fragile building and housing in an area of earthquake like Buea. Even more, the University is contextually planning to align to the new order which is the new special status for North West and South West Regions of Cameroon. This will mean that local needs in terms of training have to be readily provided by the University. Hence, new courses will be required for manpower and local development.