The outgoing Belgian Ambassador to Cameroon and President Paul Biya in a farewell audience on July 15, 2020 reviewed bilateral cooperation and prospects.
The multifaceted cooperation ties between Cameroon and the Kingdom of Belgium are poised to grow from strength to strength following Unity Palace farewell discussions President Paul Biya had with the outgoing Belgian Ambassador Stéphane Doppagne.
Relations between the two countries have been growing over the years and guided by the Cooperation Convention signed in February 1970, information from the Belgian Embassy in Yaounde indicates. Ambassador Stéphane Doppagne seizing up the cooperation during a State dinner offered in his honour in Yaounde on July 8, 2020 said it was in diverse fields such as politics, economy, humanitarian assistance and education. The relations have been characterised by the exchange of visits by high State personalities. The cooperation is greatly evident in the economic domain as the Ambassador said that trade has been lively between the two countries. Belgian companies have been interested in Cameroon. Reports say that in February 2019 Cameroon led by the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi and a Belgian multinational DEM Group signed an agreement for the Group to deliver some 662 machines and vehicles to the National Civil Engineering Equipment Pool (MATGENIE). Earlier on March 9, 2018, a delegation from the Antwerp Port Authority in Belgium developed partnerships with actors of the log yard and fruit terminal of the Douala Port. The President of the Chamber of Commerce is reported to have stated during the visit that the Belgians were able to connect with Cameroonian partners, considering that they are notably cocoa producers and sellers, port authorities, importers, forwarding agents and fruit exporters. Belgian enterprises have also been participating in the Cameroonian business and trade fair code-named PROMOTE.
In the education domain, Ambassador Stéphane Doppagne disclosed that during his four-year tenure of office at the helm of his country’s diplomatic mission in Cameroon, he has put in place reforms that have professionalised and rationalised the visa process. This is to enable Cameroonian students continue their studies in Belgium. Belgium has also been intervening to salvage humanitarian situations in Cameroon. According to the Minister of External Relations, Mbella Mbella the country donated over FCFA 6.4 billion for humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Zone to render the population affected by the war against Boko Haram to be more resilient.