The management of the Pan African University may be operating purely from the perspective of contributing to the emergence of a more integrated and economically sturdy Africa through inclusive governance in each of the member states of the African Union, its silent proprietor. However, its recent decision to ingratiate the University of Buea with the rare honour of hosting for the first time in the Central African sub region, the 10th edition of the Pan African debate, involving nine African countries with “21st century alternatives to violence” as theme could not have been more timely, given the current circumstance in the country and the role the upcoming city of Buea has been playing in the unfolding of the Anglophone crisis saga.
As the Anglophone crisis chronicle has been negotiating dangerous twists and turns recently, The Rambler took advantage of the presence of foreign perspectives in the University to debate on violence in Africa and in Anglophone Cameroon in particular, to tickle the minds of some of the foreign debaters, who barred their minds about the present crisis rocking Anglophone Cameroon which they have been following keenly on social media, in their respective countries before landing in Cameroon.
In the opinion of Mahlatse Kotope of South Africa, “I have heard much about violence in Cameroon and the authorities have to find the root of the problem and solve it peacefully, rather than pushing in for violence as I have seen.” He added that this crisis halted schools and many other activities in Cameroon which doesn’t develop Africa but leaves her stagnant.
When people talk of war, it is not all about settling scores but putting education and growth to a standstill he said. There are many unwarranted reasons of violence in African countries mainly because of differences in identities, especially, the case of English speaking Cameroonians and French speaking Cameroonians, which is all due to colonization and slavery. “Borders we have were not set up by us” he mentioned.
Just like Kotope of South Africa, Tagumanashe Gahanje of Zimbabwe didn’t like what he saw on social media as he said “Africa is becoming mature and things are changing, just like in Zimbabwe in which Mugabe left power peacefully without any form of violence as highly unexpected.” He mentioned that mutual understanding is quite important and the differences between Anglophones and Francophones have to be slimmed down and the two parties have to be treated equally. He said violence in Africa as a whole is mostly triggered by leaders, who don’t want to leave power. “People who have stayed in power for too long must step down to give way to new and creative minds, for a better Africa.”
GathoniIreri of Kenya also says, with just a few days spent in Buea, she has discovered Anglophones to be very kind, peaceful and hospitable and so she wonders why they have to face such miserable violence she sees on social media back in Kenya. Shumo Trust of Cameroon says he has been a victim of violence in Cameroon and is so obsessed with what happened on October 1, 2017 in the Anglophone Regions. He says “the main reason for the propagation of violence in Anglophone Cameroon is because of the failure of the Government and the failure to meet up with the demands of citizens. “Violence is not an option and will never solve any problem.”
By *Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred
*UB Journalism Student