At May 20 fete in Washington: Ambassador urges compatriots to be at forefront of building modern Cameroon.

The Cameroon Ambassador to the United States of America, USA, H.E Henri Etoundi Essomba, has urged his compatriots living there to be at the forefront of building a modern Cameroon.

He was speaking in Washington, last Saturday, as Cameroonians and other guests gathered at the embassy to celebrate this year’s National Day.

The Ambassador called on them to continue to show their support for the construction of a "modern Cameroon" based on the spirit of love, patriotism and national unity. 

He also hailed the Cameroonians in the US for their contribution and support for government's reforms aimed at promoting nation-building and prosperity.

"I want to thank you all to have responded to our invitation to join and share in this joyful celebration of the 51st edition of Cameroon's National Day, May 20th, 2023," Etoundi Essomba said.

"We also want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all our compatriots in the US for their openness and support to government's reforms," the career diplomat added.

He went on to salute the strong and friendly bilateral relationship that exist between Cameroon and the United States of America.

He praised US's support to Cameroon in many areas of cooperation, especially in the areas of security, judicial and economy. 

In the area of judicial cooperation, the Ambassador said cooperation in that direction has significantly helped to generally boost the return of peace to Cameroon. Ambassador Etoundi Essomba equally hailed the sacrifices that Cameroon's men and women in uniform have offered in order to ensure peace and stability across Cameroon.

The celebration was graced by the presence of the representative of the US government; Director of the Office of Central African Affairs, Bureau for African Affairs at the US State Department, Gregory Morrison.

Gregory Morrison said: "I congratulate you and the people of Cameroon as you mark your National Day".

Biya’s presence at US-Africa Summit lauded

He especially recalled the participation of Cameroon's Head of State, President Paul Biya, at the US-African Leaders Summit that took place in December, 2022, in Washington. 

Morrison said President Biya's participation was an opportunity that led to the strengthening of bilateral ties between Yaounde and Washington.

Following Biya's trip to the US, Morrison disclosed, the first batch of the post COVID-19 cohort of volunteers to Cameroon was sent in January 2023. 

"More will be arriving later this year," he added. These cohorts are destined to assist Cameroon in its fight to completely eradicate COVID-19 in the country.

May 20th celebrations at Cameroon's Embassy in the US began with the hoisting of Cameroon's national flag. Another colourful aspect of the day was the award of medals of honour to some distinguished Cameroonians and other personalities in recognition of their invaluable services in advancing the nation, Cameroon.

Dr Emily Dokubo, who had served in Cameroon from 2018 to 2022 as the Country Director for the United States Centre for Disease Control, CDC, was one of the happy recipients.

She said: "It's a pleasure to have served in Cameroon to strengthen the health system and improve outcomes for Cameroonians...I thank you for this honour...which I am proud to receive".

To Yaah Patience Tamfu, one of the Cameroonian Diasporas decorated, it was an opportunity for her to say kudos to the Head of State, Paul Biya.

"I want to thank the Head of State for having awarded me this medal. It is the biggest medal of honour in Cameroon," she said. 


Splendid organisation of event 

The success of the celebration was thanks to the splendid organisation that had been put in place by Ambassador Etoundi Essomba, his staff and the hundreds of Cameroonians in the US who answered present at the Embassy grounds.

"The celebration was really good. We have trust in our Ambassador and for the peace that is returning to Cameroon. The Ambassador enjoined us to contribute to nation-building, be patriotic and to love and cherish our country," said John Bikim who attended the celebration.

An eye-catching military parade added more ambiance and colour to the day's celebration. It was led by Captain Josiane Ndo, under the general coordination of the Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Cameroon in Washington, Colonel Francis Claude Enguene.

The celebration that brought together Cameroonians from different social groups, religious and political affiliations, Cameroonian military trainees in the US, diplomats and friends of Cameroon ended with a musical performance by Cameroonian musician, Richard Kings. It was complemented with a thrilling traditional dance display by Maryland-based Oku indigenes.

"I am generally satisfied and I want to thank everyone who came here to celebrate this day," Ambassador Etoundi Essomba concluded.

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