Cameroon-Canada : Outgoing High Commissioner Says Goodbye
President Paul Biya and Richard Bale used the farewell audience at Unity Palace on November 18, 2022 to assess ties and seek ways of deepening the cooperation for mutual good.
Cameroon and Canada, two friendly countries that share a lot in common, have had an opportunity to review their bilateral cooperation that dates 60 years back as well as chart the way forward. This was during a farewell audience President Paul Biya granted the outgoing High Commissioner of Canada to Cameroon, Richard Bale on Friday November 18, 2022.
The close to two-hour discussions the Cameroonian leader had with the Canadian diplomat at the State House speak of the depth of cooperation between Yaounde and Ottawa and the desire by leaders of the two countries to continually deepen the ties for the good of the countries and peoples. Talking to the press after the audience, High Commissioner Richard Bale sounded satisfied with what he saw and did in Cameroon during his three-year tenure. “We spoke more about Cameroon-Canada relations given that we are already 60 years into our bilateral cooperation and what we have done over the years,” he said.
In the education sector, Canada is very present in Cameroon through the construction of schools and the diplomat said he and President Paul Biya spoke about how this cooperation has evolved over the years. “There are equally Cameroonian students who study in Canada, some of who come back after their studies to practice what they learn and others who stay back to work in Canada,” he added. Underlining that President Paul Biya also mentioned the Magil Company that constructed the Olembe stadium and rehabilitated the Douala Reunification stadium, Richard Bale said, “These stadiums are a great pride and a good symbol of our partnership.”
With the Head of State, the High Commissioner as well spoke about all that is common between the two countries especially bilingualism where one has majority French and the other English, the challenges that come with it and how they can surmount them. Before the Law on Bilingualism was passed in Cameroon, he said, “the bilingualism commission visited Canada to learn from our experience. It could be the same thing with decentralisation. As you know Canada has a federal system. We may not have lessons to give but we have experience which could be useful to Cameroon.” He disclosed that Canada is also a strategic humanitarian partner for Cameroon either in the northern part of the country with the Boko Haram insurgency or the North West and South West Regions. The High Commissioner opined that, “We have always been there for Cameroon and we will continue to be there.”