George Esunge Fominyen in Brief


  • George Esunge Fominyen is currently Coordinator of the Multi-Media Editorial Unit of the PANOS Institute West Africa (PIWA) in Dakar, Senegal.

    PANOS Institute West Africa 6, Rue Calmette Dakar, Senegal

    Email: esungeft@gmail.com
  • Biography

Jimbi Media Sites

  • AFRICAphonie
    AFRICAphonie is a Pan African Association which operates on the premise that AFRICA can only be what AFRICANS and their friends want AFRICA to be.
  • Bakwerirama
    Spotlight on Bakweri Society and Culture. The Bakweri are an indigenous African nation.
  • Bate Besong
    Bate Besong, award-winning firebrand poet and playwright.
  • Bernard Fonlon
    Dr Bernard Fonlon was an extraordinary figure who left a large footprint in Cameroonian intellectual, social and political life.
  • Fonlon-Nichols Award
    Website of the Literary Award established to honor the memory of BERNARD FONLON, the great Cameroonian teacher, writer, poet, and philosopher, who passionately defended human rights in an often oppressive political atmosphere.
  • France Watcher
    Purpose of this advocacy site: To aggregate all available information about French terror, exploitation and manipulation of Africa
  • George Ngwane: Public Intellectual
    George Ngwane is a prominent author, activist and intellectual.
  • Jacob Nguni
    Virtuoso guitarist, writer and humorist. Former lead guitarist of Rocafil, led by Prince Nico Mbarga.
  • Martin Jumbam
    The refreshingly, unique, incisive and generally hilarous writings about the foibles of African society and politics by former Cameroon Life Magazine columnist Martin Jumbam.
  • Nowa Omoigui
    Professor of Medicine and interventional cardiologist, Nowa Omoigui is also one of the foremost experts and scholars on the history of the Nigerian Military and the Nigerian Civil War. This site contains many of his writings and comments on military subjects and history.
  • Postwatch Magazine
    A UMI (United Media Incorporated) publication. Specializing in well researched investigative reports, it focuses on the Cameroonian scene, particular issues of interest to the former British Southern Cameroons.
  • Simon Mol
    Cameroonian poet, writer, journalist and Human Rights activist living in Warsaw, Poland
  • Victor Mbarika ICT Weblog
    Victor Wacham Agwe Mbarika is one of Africa's foremost experts on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Dr. Mbarika's research interests are in the areas of information infrastructure diffusion in developing countries and multimedia learning.
  • Tunduzi
    A West African in Arusha at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the angst, contradictions and rewards of that process.
  • Dr Godfrey Tangwa (Gobata)
    Renaissance man, philosophy professor, actor and newspaper columnist, Godfrey Tangwa aka Rotcod Gobata touches a wide array of subjects. Always entertaining and eminently readable. Visit for frequent updates.
  • Francis Nyamnjoh
    Prolific writer, social and political commentator, he was a professor at University of Buea and University of Botswana. Currently he is Head of Publications and Dissemination at CODESRIA in Dakar, Senegal. His writings are socially relevant and engaging even to the non specialist.
  • Ilongo Sphere: Writer and Poet
    Novelist and poet Ilongo Fritz Ngalle, long concealed his artist's wings behind the firm exterior of a University administrator and guidance counsellor. No longer. Enjoy his unique poems and glimpses of upcoming novels and short stories.
  • Scribbles from the Den
    The award-winning blog of Dibussi Tande, Cameroon's leading blogger.
  • Enanga's POV
    Rosemary Ekosso, a Cameroonian novelist and blogger who lives and works in Cambodia.
  • GEF's Outlook
    Blog of George Esunge Fominyen, former CRTV journalist and currently Coordinator of the Multi-Media Editorial Unit of the PANOS Institute West Africa (PIWA) in Dakar, Senegal.
  • The Chia Report
    The incisive commentary of Chicago-based former CRTV journalist Chia Innocent
  • Voice Of The Oppressed
    Stephen Neba-Fuh is a political and social critic, human rights activist and poet who lives in Norway.
  • Bate Besong
    Bate Besong, award-winning firebrand poet and playwright.
  • Up Station Mountain Club
    A no holds barred group blog for all things Cameroonian. "Man no run!"
  • Bakwerirama
    Spotlight on the Bakweri Society and Culture. The Bakweri are an indigenous African nation.
  • Fonlon-Nichols Award
    Website of the Literary Award established to honor the memory of BERNARD FONLON, the great Cameroonian teacher, writer, poet, and philosopher, who passionately defended human rights in an often oppressive political atmosphere.
  • Bernard Fonlon
    Dr Bernard Fonlon was an extraordinary figure who left a large footprint in Cameroonian intellectual, social and political life.
  • AFRICAphonie
    AFRICAphonie is a Pan African Association which operates on the premise that AFRICA can only be what AFRICANS and their friends want AFRICA to be.
  • Canute - Chronicles from the Heartland
    Professional translator, freelance writer and a regular contributor to THE POST newspaper. Lives in Douala, Cameroon

« Singing Barack Obama in Cameroon | Main | Welcome To Belem for the World Social Forum »

January 21, 2009

Comments

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Dibussi

Hi George,

In my opinion, this is less about poverty and more about neglect (by government and other social actors) and about a complete absence of a culture of corporate responsibility in Cameroon - which explains why corporations such as Cimencam can get away with not actively participating in the development of those communities where they have their factories.

BamendaBabe

You asked: "Do you think that would be possible by the converging of alternative forces as in the World Social Forum?"

To be honest, I am uncertain about the value of a forum, but I'd like to hear back about what goals are achieved through various agencies and individuals networking and taking action. If Dibussi is right, then the only way to help is to circumvent government and corporate Cameroon, unless these elusive bodies magically become more responsible institutions.

The strange things is, behind all this inequality, there are people. Real people. People in government. People in corporations. People beyond this. A worker at Cimencam. A manager. A buyer of cement. People just trying to survive and better themselves, even if at the expense of others. How do you get these people to make a sacrifice? To stop. To start in a new direction.

That I think is the real problem. People. Why do we, as humans, seem to be so comfortable coexisting in the polar extremes of comfort and poverty?

I spent some years of my childhood in the North and some in Ndian, so I have a sense and a memory of how dire and desperate things are in both areas of Cameroon. But I also witnessed Cameroonians trying to help and them being sabotaged at every turn by both other Cameroonians and foreigners, individuals protecting their own interests. Thus, I feel nervous when I try to internalize any call to action.

And what about the poor? What do they have to say? Can you or I, or all of us educated folk, speak for them? If we could publicize their words, what would we hear them say and what would their requests be?

GEF

BB

The questions at the end of your post are very apt.

Discussion rages among many civil society groups and organisations about how much we really hear from "the poor" directly.

Critics have argued that, "the poor" do not quite have access to such gatherings - meaning their views may not be heard at all.

I suppose it is preferable for them to speak directly about their concerns rather than through educated folk.

What we need to focus on is how. How they get this opportunity to speak and be publicised for the right people to hear them.

Creating democratic spaces for expression is one way. The media are another.

Media - not as in simple reporting. It should be through media formats that let people say it for themselves. The organisation, I work for has been developing and promoting such initiatives.

However, were the poor to tell their stories as they live them; point out their challenges as they experienced them; using whatever platform that could be available - do you think there would be change?

By the way, I enjoy the poetry on your blog, Sister.

BELL ROSE NTUBE NGOLE

Dear Gef,
Your article and the picture are heart wrenching. I got teary-eyed reading through it. Your thoughts on the entire article coincidentally happens to reflect a conversation i had recently with Barrister Caroline Time when we heard that some particular group of persons here in the U.S were planning to buy computers for some elementary schools in their different villages. The news was mind boggling to us.The question we asked were what are the physical conditions of those school buildings?
Gef, we are living in a computerized age and there is dire need for all, especially the young generation to be computer-literate- but i believe in prioritizing things. Like the school in the picture, i do think it would be reasonable for us to think first of an adequate infrastructure before thinking of buyng computers. Our concern should be first of all, to ensure that the floors are cemented, the roofs are not leaking, there are enough benches in the classroom and the benches are comfortable for the students to sit on. Then we could think of a library(not something big). We would love that our younger ones cultivate the habit and culture of reading. A comfortable environment i believe will play a very important role on students' outcomes.There is hope for these kids, if we all come together and decide to make a diffference in their lives-one school,- one kid at a time.
Like Dibussi said,the problem is more about neglect and less about poverty. Our governments have failed us, our politicians too. This is a new era, a new beginning were transformational leaders are ready to make their mark in the continent of Africa and in Cameroon in particular.
Let's put the name calling, the blame game, the accusations and counter accusations aside. Let's put our ideas, our resources together and see what we can do to make a difference. We have all been waiting for change- but who are those to effect change in our socities if we ourselves do not pick up the baton of command and lead the way. Let's be the beacon of hope that the younger generation can look up to.
Iknow politics is always a fertile groud for arguements but let's put that aside and start a different conversation.
Making effective changes in our schools is a good place to start-Let's see how we can help.
We all know that education is empowering.It strengthens individuals, families and communities. One of the ways i believe we are going to combat poverty and some of the problems facing our country and continent is to improve the quality and accessibility of basic education to our people.
Let's put our heads and resources together and see how we can become effective advocates for change.
Don't ask what your country can do for you but do ask what you can do for your country. (President JFK).
Our children, our younger ones need us -let's not let them down. Let's make a change, let's together make a difference in their lives.

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