What often comes to your minds when you hear of africa
What often comes to your minds when you hear of Africa? Certainly, Poverty. Cameroon is one of the African Countries where I have lived most of my life. Cameroon is not well developed but it is not as poor as you may think. Many people here in America often ask me, if we do have cars, roads, water, food, fruits, schools, computers and internet just to name a few. A lot has been said about Poverty in Africa on the media and internet. When Mark Sandell interviewed the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on reasons why Africa is poor, Ellen said, “Africa is not poor, it is poorly managed”. Today, I will let you know that Cameroon is not as poor as you think as I will share with you its economic situation, means of transportation, food, buildings, computers, internet and schools.<br />Imagine these misconceptions about Americans: The average American gets two days of vacation a week including weekends. All food is genetically modified and tasteless. All the states in between the coast are populated almost entirely of fundamentalist Christians who believe in the second coming. Only 11 to 15% of Americans have passports. Americans are fat. <br />I am sure each one of you will have something to say against these misconceptions about you. <br />Sophia Balmer and Amy Mitchell in an article Common Misconceptions about Africa, said, Africa is often referred to as one place, as though the massive continent is so similar that a distinction between countries and cultures is not required. Africa has a total of 54 countries covering 21 percent of the earth’s land-surface. There are over 2,000 languages spoken on the continent, and culture, tradition, architecture and history vary considerably from independent country to independent country.<br />The media and our historians have painted a gloomy picture in the minds of most Americans as to what Africa is like. Africa is all too often referred to as if it is a country and people forget or do not realize that there is great diversity within this continent.<br />An article Exit To Africa, The Dark Continent. The writer lists some of the common misconceptions about Africa as:<br /><ul><li>There are no toilets in Africa, except out houses and pit latrines.
And lastly, someone asked me recently if we have rain in Africa.</li></ul>Gboyinde Onijala testified that during his visit in America from Nigeria, he got similar questions like; did you have a pet elephant or monkey?” “Did you wear shoes?” “Do you know how to use a toilet?” and so on. <br />Now that we have known the misconceptions about Africa, let’s look at the reality in Cameroon, one of the African countries where I have lived most of my life.<br />Cameroon Economic situation.<br />The Cameroonian economy is primarily agricultural, with principal commercial crops being cocoa, coffee, tobacco, cotton and bananas. Timber is also a major export. Here you can see Coffee and Bananas being prepared for exporting. Here are pineapples. Wood work is one of main items Cameroonians export. All of them have major markets in Europe, CEMAC, China, United States, and Nigeria. <br />According to Dr. Quenum & associates of investment and business planners in Africa, Cameroon has one of the strongest agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and is amongst the top world producers of cash crops such as; coffee, cocoa, banana and pineapple. <br />According to press reports, China recently became the number one importer of Cameroonian exports, especially unprocessed timber.<br />After learning about the Cameroon economic situation, let’s look at it means of transportation.<br />(Slide) It is possible to travel by air, by train, and by car in Cameroon with the availability of airports, railways, and paved roads (end). (Slide) With Airports and Seaports, exporting and importing becomes very easy (end). (Slide) Apart from personal cars, there are taxis often identified with yellow color. Just by any road side, you can easily get a taxi at cheap rates to take you where you may want to go. With less than a dollar, a taxi can take you to a distance of 6 kilometers or 4miles. (end).<br />Food<br />With its richness in agriculture, Cameroon has almost all the food one could think of. There are various fruits like oranges, mangoes, guavas, avocadoes, tangerines and watermelons. They grow Irish potatoes, plantains, corn, beans, rice, cocoyams, sweet potatoes and cassavas. There is cattle, goats, chickens, bush meat and fish. There is milk for butter, cheese and processed dry milk. There are palm trees where we get palm oil, palm nuts and palm wine. There are coconut trees with all its products. There are groundnuts(peanuts) as it is eaten as a snack, peanut butter or oil is produced. There are coconut trees. Different vegetables are available as can be seen on this picture. Onions and papayas. Here is one of the tea estates. I have some tea here from this estate. Sugarcane is a sub-tropical crop and part of it is eaten as it is and the rest used to produce quality refined sugar. All the food is locally grown with as can be found in local markets.<br />In an article on Sustainable farming, Seona Ban after returning from Cameroon, said, “when I arrived in the United States, I was amazed by the abundance of grocery stores and corner markets. In Cameroon, I had no shopping alternatives. The choice is either fresh good, or no food. (Slide) Therefore, the closeness of these farms to various houses can help you believe Seona’s testimony. Whatever we decide to cook is being harvested from a nearby farm.(end)<br />Buildings<br />(Slide) There are well constructed buildings for individual houses or hotels, presidential palace, apartments on rents, shopping places, hospitals and Churches. (end)<br />Computers and internet:<br />(Slide) In a world of computers, computer training is part of the primary and secondary schools curriculum. There are also computer training schools and cyber cafes. (end)<br />Schools:<br />(Slide) Education starts at the age of 2 with what we call nursery school, then primary school, secondary schools often together with high schools and universities. Apart from the universities, these schools are available even in villages. (end)<br />Clothing:<br />There is what is often called Cameroon fabric. (Slide) This is often in pieces and with different colors and designs like what I have on now (end). (Slide) This can be used to tie round or to sew dresses with different desired patterns and styles both for men, women and children. There are social groups who turn to sew a particular color and style to identify the group (end). (Slide) Women often have different interesting patterns and styles together with children (end). (Slide) Therefore, it keeps tailors and seamstresses like these busy in trying to satisfy people’s needs for a little sum of money. (end)<br />Basic Needs:<br />There is water, rain, toilets, houses, etc in Africa.<br />Lastly, (Slide) Cameroon is known for its beautiful green mountains, waterfalls and beaches that can be seen from a distance at some particular spots in the country. (end)<br />In conclusion, you have learned the economic situation and the availability of basic needs in Cameroon. A lot of misconception has been going on about Africa and I hope I have made things right today. I hope you can now have a different at African and come to believe and come to believe that Africa is not as primitive as you think as most of what you have in America is also in Africa.<br />Works Cited<br />Sandell, Mark. World have your say. Why is Africa poor. August 20, 2009. Web. July 8, 2010.<br />U.S. Department of State. Cameroon, country specific information. February 25, 2010. Web. July 8, 2010.<br />QUENUM, Dr. & ASSOCIATES of INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS PLANNERS in Africa. Countries Brief. The Republic of Cameroon - briefs. Web. July 9th, 2010.<br />Background note: Cameroon. Diplomacy In Action. U.S. Department of State. Bureau of African Affairs. June 29th, 2010. Web. July 8, 2010.<br />Global finance. Cameroon country economic report and GDP data. Web. July 10, 2010.<br />Tuffs University. Sustainable Farming. Cameroon. Web. July 11, 2010.<br />Balmer and Amy Mitchell. Common Misconceptions about Africa. We often view the entire continent as a single, troubled entity. April 3, 2010. Web. July 15th, 2010.<br />Exit to Africa. The dark continent. AfrEmail Newsletter. Web. July 15th, 2010.<br />Gboyinde Onijala. African Diaspora Club. Towson University. Misconceptions of Africa. February 21st 2008. Web. July 15th, 2010.<br />