The President of the Republic of Cameroon Paul Biya is one of the world leaders who is well known for recognizing the hard work of both his compatriots and foreign dignitaries who contribute to projecting the image of Cameroon and who ensure the advanceme
The historic hallmark of President Biya's recognition of positive actions that make Cameroon's name echo loud enough on the international scene came on November 21, 2023 when he on an exceptional basis raised four officials to the dignity of the Commander of the Order of Valour. These dignitaries of Cameroonian origin who have risen to international repute include Mixed Martial Arts Heavyweight champion and boxing debutant, Francis Ngannou, renowned virologist of international repute and Coordinator of the United States Government’s Global Programme for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (REPFAR), Dr John Nkengasong whose origin is Lebialem Division in the South West Region. The other two are the United States Basketballer of Cameroonian origin, Joel Hans Embiid and Professor Olivette Otele, who is the first-ever black female Professor of History in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. She is Professor of History in Slavery at the University of Bristol in Great Britain.
What is so remarkable about the four personalities honoured is the fact that Dr John Nkengasong and Joel Embiid are now American citizens but with the Cameroonian origin. Though their actions and performance are to defend the country for which they serve, their Cameroonian origin is undeniable and they recognize it. Their actions from every perspective make Cameroon’s name to echo loud at the international scene. Francis Ngannou is the pride of the country at the international level in the areas of Mixed Martial Arts and boxing while Professor Olivette Otele is an icon in the field of academia.
Many people would be wondering why President Paul Biya should raise people to the dignity of the Commander of the Order of Valour who are not working directly for the country. Such people should know that the label Cameroon remains tagged to the international stars and dignitaries wherever they go and in whatever thing they do. The Head of State is very much interested in the positive image of the country and will not hesitate to reward whoever keeps the country’s flag and image high.
Medals and decorations awarded by the President of the Public on exceptional basis do not come every day and the periodicity cannot be determined. Such medals and decorations are more often awarded to athletes of collective and individual sporting disciplines who bring back victory after competing in international sporting competitions. Athletes who keep the country’s flag flying higher in international competitions and enable the National Anthem to be sung to immortalize victory and glory to the nation merit decorations. Cameroonians of other corps such as defence and security forces are also from time to time awarded medals on exceptional basis in recognition of their bravery exhibited during peacekeeping and security missions abroad as well as acts of bravery manifested to defend the country’s territorial integrity, stability and security.
For the sake of consolidating Cameroon’s diplomatic relations with friendly countries and international organizations, most heads of diplomatic missions and the organizations are usually honoured with State dinners offered by the Minister of External Relations in the name of the Head. During such ceremonies, the diplomats are usually admitted in the Cameroon National Orders through the memorable medals they are awarded.
Besides the exceptional decorations in honour of the country’s heroes in diverse domains, every year, President Paul Biya within the framework of the National...
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