Cameroon Embassy, diaspora thrill thousands with rich cultural heritage in Washington D.C.
The visitors were treated to a rich repertoire of Cameroon's diverse cultures; cuisines, arts, music, fashion and folklore. This was during this yearâs edition of an event known as Passport D.C. or Around The World Embassy Tour.
The event is a yearly celebration of international cultures in Washington D.C., which hosts many embassies and diplomatic institutions of different countries from around the world.
Organised by the District of Columbia Council, the event usually gives an opportunity for people from all over the globe to freely take tours of these different embassies, to enjoy the different cultural richness, arts, music, fashion, dance and much more.
Thus, Cameroon's Embassy in Washington D.C., with H.E Henri Etoundi Essomba as Ambassador, was one among sixty-three embassies that flung their doors open Saturday, May 6, for visitors and tourists to savour Cameroon's rich and diverse culture.
Speaking during the event, Cameroonâs Ambassador to US, H.E Etoundi Essomba, said: "This event is one of the most important events of diplomatic representations in the United States, given that it gives every country the opportunity to promote itself and make it better known, not just to the residents of D.C. but to everyone who is in the US or visiting".
Cameroon's diverse cultures cherished
Meanwhile, the thousands who streamed into Cameroon's Embassy were enough to tell of how appreciative people from different countries of the world cherish Cameroon's diverse richness.
This year's event at the Cameroon Embassy in the US witnessed the active participation of the Cameroonian Diaspora, which has been described by many as very reassuring and satisfactory.
"I am quite excited and appreciative of the responsive attitude of our Cameroonian Diaspora. This is the way I will love the Cameroonian Diaspora to express themselves every time, especially on how hospitable our country is," H.E. Etoundi noted.
On his part, Edwin Nche, a Cameroonian economic operator, talking about why the Cameroonian Diaspora were very passionate about this year's event, said it was equally an occasion for them to let the world know about the economic opportunities that Cameroon has to offer.
He disclosed that the Port of Kribi that receives thousands of containers of imports from the US can also be an opening to export Cameroon's own products to the US.
"We are here because we are trying to pull traffic to Kribi. Kribi has a unique port. I started working in Kribi in 2018. And I receive 300 containers a month. So, the more people love Kribi, the more businesses in Cameroon will make money," Edwin Nche added.
Kribi City mayor as august guest
This yearâs event witnessed the distinguished presence of the City Mayor of Kribi, Guy Emmanuel Sabikanda, who said, "I am here to promote Kribi as an exquisite tourist destination as well as a veritable economic powerhouse to potential investors and partners".
He said Kribi, as Cameroon's foremost tourist city, is fast becoming a big economic hub in the Central African sub region, noting that, "Kribi is an important destination in terms of tourism and in terms of its economic potential".
Meanwhile, the Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Cameroon in Washington D.C., Prof Athanasius Ayuk Ako, noted that this year's event was a perfect success as the Embassy received over 10,000 visitors; almost twice the number that was experienced last year.
He said the aggressive Communication strategy and bouquet of cultural attractions put on display by the Embassy, this year, were what attracted the huge numbers to the Embassy.
"As you can see along this street where you have so many embassies, there have been a lot of mass movements into the Embassy of Cameroon. And the reason is the variety of things we have presented this year. There was the Asico dance from the Bassa, Monekim from Mamfe, the Bamileke dance and we also had a live band that was playing all the music from the ten different regions of Cameroon,â Prof Ayuk Ako said.
There were also lots of documentaries broadcast on giant TV screens, with thousands of brochures and flyers on Cameroon as a unique tourist destination, distributed to the visitors.
The event at the Embassy was crowned with a royal recognition of the Ambassador, H.E. Etoundi Essomba, by the Representatives of the North West Fons' Union in the US, with the title of âNtianteâ meaning âPeace Makerâ. This high honour was not far from the fact that Ambassador Etoundi Essomba has been exercising an open door policy, attracting Cameroonians from all walks of life and backgrounds to the Embassy, to talk on nation-building and national unity.