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Mar01272015

Last updateLun, 26 Jan 2015 8pm

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Cameroon has made great strides since reunification

Cameroon's president Paul Biya says the country has made giant strides in the provision of facilities and strengthening of democracy since the  reunification of the country in 1960.

Speaking in the southwest regional capital, Buea, on Thursday on the occasion of the commemoration of Cameroon's reunification, he said that in 50 years, the number of health centres had increased from 555 to 2,260, while life expectancy had gone up from 40 to 52 years.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of reunification should have been held in 2011 to mark the occasion when the English part of Cameroon decided to reunite with French Cameroon but was postponed several times.

President Biya said the schooling rate was now 90% from a low of 3% while there were now eight universities from zero.

In its bid to open up the country, some 5,200 km of road are asphalted today as against 621 km 50 years ago; there are about 20 airports with three being of international standard and three maritime ports.

President Biya said with the development of its energy capacities, Cameroon would create industries to process agricultural products.

At the political level, President Biya said that Cameroon had taken the path of democracy which was being consolidated everyday through the establishment of modern institutions including the Senate and a Constitutional Court shortly.

On 1 January 1960, East Cameroon gained independence from France and on 5 May 1960 Ahmadou Ahidjo became president.

On 11 February 1961, a plebiscite organised by the United Nations was held to choose between free association with an independent state or integration.

On 12 February 1961 the British Northern Cameroons attached itself to Nigeria, while the southern part voted for reunification as the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

Pana 21/02/2014