Yaounde, 31 December 2020

Fellow Cameroonians,
My dear compatriots,
I am convinced that you understand why I am beginning this traditional message by talking about the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic on our planet. In this regard, 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a dark year marked by hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.
Like almost all countries, Cameroon was affected, perhaps less severely than other States. Despite our efforts, COVID-19 plunged many families into mourning and seriously hampered the functioning of our economy and society.
I take this opportunity to hail once more the dedication of our physicians, nurses and health personnel as a whole, thanks to whom many lives have been and continue to be saved.

It is perhaps too early to try to draw lessons from this painful episode which, moreover, is continuing. Needless to recall that this pandemic is not the first and history has it that epidemics wiped out entire populations, the most recent occurring in the wake of the First World War.

Should man take the blame because of his wanton exploitation of the planet’s natural resources and his constant engagement in conflicts leading to massacres and diseases, as well as experiments to develop new weapons? I believe the question needs to be asked. Whatever the answer, our era should take credit for clearly posing the problem of the relationship between man and his natural environment. This was, I believe, the objective of the Paris Conference on Global Warming, whose recommendations are still relevant today.
In any case, we should not rest on our laurels. I have personally observed that most of our fellow citizens no longer comply with the protective measures prescribed by the Government.
At a time when, everywhere else, there is a second wave of the epidemic, coupled with the appearance of a new and more contagious strain of the virus, I urge you once again to put on your face masks, to wash your hands regularly and to consult a physician or any other health personnel if you notice any symptoms. This is the only way to save lives and to curb the spread of the virus.
My dear compatriots,
Our focus on the health situation did not prevent us from devoting ourselves to other essential tasks related to the management of our country, namely:

  • maintaining security and peace throughout our national territory;
  • strengthening our democratic process; and
  • pursuing our economic, social and cultural development programme. (READ THE ENTIRE MESSAGE)