Cameroon-Commonwealth Relations : Relishing Beneficial Cooperation

Several achievements have been recorded since Cameroon became a member of the Commonwealth.

Cooperation between Cameroon and the Commonwealth is developing in all spheres and expanding to encompass traditional and contemporary challenges. Several achievements have been recorded since Cameroon became a member of the Gentlemen’s Club. From local governance, to peace and security, climate change and environmental protection, social development and the empowerment and inclusion of women and youths, to sports, scholarship, innovation and technology, Cameroon and the Commonwealth have exchanged mutually beneficial ideas for the wellbeing of their citizens. 
Cameroonian students benefit yearly from the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship and civil society organisations apply and are accorded different programmes and grants opportunities of the Commonwealth Foundation. Both parties share common ideas on core principles such as democracy and human rights, governance and the rule of law. 
Cameroon officially became the 52nd member of the Commonwealth family on November 13, 1995, during a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Auckland, New Zealand. As Cameroon celebrates the Commonwealth Day today, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations highlights certain aspects of the day and its theme in the interview below. 

What is the theme for the 2021 Commonwealth Day and how was it developed?
The theme for the observance of the 2021 Commonwealth Day is “Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”. As you may recall, this theme is the same as last year’s and has guided the work of the Commonwealth since then. It will also be the theme for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, scheduled from 21-27 June 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme was developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat and underlines ways through which the 54 Member States that make up the Commonwealth Family are ‘connecting, innovating and transforming’ to help the Organisation achieve some of its biggest goals, like protecting natural resources and boosting trade. It is inspired by the deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill that connect Commonwealth Member Countries.
Of what significance to Cameroon is the theme for this year?
The 2021 Commonwealth Day theme offers Cameroon a renewed opportunity to highlight its efforts in leveraging innovative ways of connecting the people and the government through for the implementation of a development policy that is transformational. As a country that resolutely continues to chart its path towards emergence by 2035, this theme serves as an inspiration for the governance transformation that the Head of State, H.E Paul Biya, is championing- one that positions Decentralisation and Local Governance at the heart of development. The theme also sets a platform to focus on what Cameroon is doing at home and within the Commonwealth, to foster connection, innovation, and transformation, especially at a time when the country is building sustainable pathways for peace, by reaching out and connecting more deeply with its population, especially its youth. At its core therefore, the theme fits within Cameroon’s aspirations to continue building a strong, united, democratic and decentralised nation that would be playing an invaluable role as a member of the Commonwealth Family and the broader International Community. 
What is the significance of the flag hoisting ceremony?
Traditionally, Commonwealth Day activities are launched with a flag hoisting ceremony as a demonstration of diversity in display- a salient trait of membership in the Commonwealth family that, as much as Cameroon, is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic.
As you may know, Cameroon’s membership in the Commonwealth is a true projection of our bicultural and multi-ethnic nature, and so the flag hoisting ceremony is particularly significant for Cameroon because it portrays, more than any other activity, the commonalities between Cameroon and the Commonwealth and demonstrates the role Cameroon plays in popularising the ethos of the Organisation.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Commemoration of the 2021 Commonwealth Day?
As you may have noticed, the 2020 and 2021 themes are the same...



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