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Cameroon's cabinet remake full of messieurs, a lone madame

Cameroon's cabinet remake full of messieurs, a lone madame


Cameroon president on Friday evening issued a decree naming a new Prime Minister to replace long serving Philemon Yang who was inching towards a decade in the role.

The decree of January 4, 2018 replaced Yang with Joseph Dion Ngute, a former Minister at the presidency and Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations.

The President went on to name a new cabinet that saw some ministers handed new portfolios with a number of new entrants.

The interesting list had one woman in the midst of about seventeen newly appointed men. The sole female appointee is Madame Courtes née Keutcha Celestine – Minister of Housing and Urban Development.

She joins Dr. Nalova Lyonga who was in March 2018 named Minister of Secondary Education. At the time she was one of two Anglophone appointees, the other being Atanga Nji Paul was appointed Minister of Territorial Administration which translates to the Interior Ministry portfolio – both maintain their positions.

The Cameroonian situation is not exactly in line with an African trend where Presidents handed cabinet posts to women especially to competent young women as was the case in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mali in 2018.

Over in Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in October 2018 named a cabinet that had as many men as women. The historic cabinet also gave women sensitive roles as the Minister of Defence and Minister of Peace – a portfolio that oversees the sensitive security sector of the country.

The new list as published by the presidency:

On Friday 4 January 2019, the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul BIYA signed four decrees to reshuffle the government.
Mr Dion Ngute Joseph was raised to the position of Prime Minister, Head of Government.

The following officials were also appointed:

- Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education: FAME NDONGO Jacques; – Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Public Contracts: TALBA MALLA Ibrahim; – Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Relations with the Parliament: WAKATA Bolvine; – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development: MBAIROBE Gabriel; – Minister of Arts and Culture: BIDOUNG KPWATT Pierre Ismael; – Minister of Communication: SADI Rene; – Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure: EYEBE AYISSI Henri; – Minister of Basic Education: ETOUNDI NGOA Laurent Serge; – Minister of Employment and Vocational Training: ISSA TCHIROMA Bakary;
- Minister of Housing and Urban Development: COURTES née KEUTCHA Celestine; – Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development: DODO NDOKE Gabriel; – Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts: BASSILEKIN III Achille; – Minster of Public Health: MANAOUDA MALACHIE; – Minister of Sports and Physical Education: MOUELLE KOMBI Narcisse; – Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Justice and Keeper of the Seals: MOMO Jean de Dieu; – Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Transport: NJOYA ZAKARIAOU; – Minister in charge of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic:
NDONG SOUMHET Benoit; – Minister of State, Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic: NGOH NGOH Ferdinand; – Minister, Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic :

N.B: The other Members of Government – appointed on 2 March 2018 – were maintained in their ministerial portfolios.

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