samedi 26 décembre 2009


By Tikum Mbah Azonga

This article is an adaptation of an earlier one I broadcast on the Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) National Radio Station on the 16th of November 2004. The paper was motivated by the visit to Cameroon of the king of Morocco. It is one of many I broadcast on the same channel between 2002 and 2005, on the early morning prime time national and world news broadcast.

For three days running today, tomorrow and Friday, the royal palace of the kingdom of Morocco will be located here in Cameroon and all honours due the king will be paid to him there.

Thanks to the King’s visit, Cameroonians can now have direct contact with a country, Morocco, known in the Arabic language as Al-Mamlaka Al-Maghiribiya a relationshipwhich so far has been long distance mainly through football encounters, or through the dwindling number of Cameroonian students in Moroccan institutions. It will, of course, also be recalled that Cameroon’s first and former President, Ahmadou Ahidjo was a man well known in Morocco.

True, King Mohamed VI was in Cameroon in 2001 for the France-Africa Summit. But that was not a one-to one visit in the sense that he was only one of numerous Heads of State who converged on Yaounde for the summit. This time around, Cameroonians will be able to reserve a hilarious welcome for the King, knowing that the visit is special and specific. Already, CRTV has broadcast special programmes on the Kingdom of Morocco, as a prelude to the visit. In addition to being received by Cameroonian’s Head of State, Paul Biya, King Mohamed VI will be received at the National Museum by Culture Minister of State, Ferdinand Leopold Oyono, and Paul Biya. On the fringes of the visit, the Moroccan delegation will hold working sessions with their Cameroonian counterparts.

If anyone sees a parallel between the name the king bears and that of the Moslem Prophet Mohamed, this is no coincidence. Mohamed VI is no ordinary king. He is said to be a descendant of Prophet Mohamed, through the prophet’s daughter Lava Fatima Zora. The 23rd king of the Alaovite dynasty whose reign started in the 17th century, the king was born in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, on August 21st forty one years ago. On July 30th, 1999, he succeeded his late father, King Hassan II who in his lifetime had painstakingly groomed him to be the next king. The king has a string of qualifications. Logically he is a Leo astrologically, which makes him a daring leader who does what he believes is right for his people. That means he will be able to face the future with steel-like steadfastness.

Morocco and Cameroon have a lot in common. Their economies are heavily agricultural with oil production serving as the icing on the cake. But whereas Morocco has developed its tourism industry to the extent that its contribution to national revenue is significant, Cameroon is still groping in the dark. Like Cameroon’s economy, Morocco’s has taken some knocks, for example, it has also been applying economic structural adjustment measures since 1983, with assistance from international donors such as the International Monetary Fund {IMF}. This has led to a reduction in the budget deficit and has attracted foreign investment. The economy is therefore an area in which both countries can profitably compare notes.

Like Cameroon, Morocco has an extensive coast-line which makes fishing a significant activity. Morocco may want to step up trade with Cameroon for in 1996 to 1997 for instance, trade figures showed that the Kingdom was not amongst the first 15 importers of Cameroonian goods, neither was it among the first 15 exporters of goods to Cameroon. Another activity Cameroon can successfully undertake is that of supplying English Language teachers to Morocco which is French speaking country, Cameroon can export English language teachers to the Kingdom of Morocco. In a world that is increasingly global, Rabat needs such a tonic.

As His Royal Highness king Mohamed II touches down in Yaounde late this afternoon, we say to him in the Arabic language ‘Ahlan wa sahlan, shukran jazi lan’’, which means, ‘’Welcome, thank you very much’’.

© 2009

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