Relations between India and Cameroon have been friendly and cordial. The Cameroonian leaders appreciate India’s contributions to Africa, its secular democracy and economic progress and the leadership it provided to the Non- Aligned Movement. Cameroon actively supported Indian candidature for the Commonwealth Secretary General. The High Commissioner in Abuja is concurrently accredited to Cameroon.
Bilateral Visits: The importance attached to the bilateral relations by the two governments has witnessed many high -level visits between the two countries. Cameroonian President Paul Biya visited India in March 1983 to attend NAM Summit, the Cameroon Prime Minister Mr. Philomen Yang accompanied by seven Ministers and a large business delegation visited India in March 2013 to attend CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on Africa. Defence Minister Mr Edger Alain Mebe Ngo’o had visited India in March 2012 to attend DefExpo India 2012 held in New Delhi. In addition to these visits, there have been several Ministerial and official level visits to India. From Indian side, MOS for External Affairs visited Cameroon in April 1990. EAM met with Cameroonian Foreign Minister in New York in September 2002. In June 2008, MOS(AS) met Cameroonian Foreign Minister at AU Summit in Sham Al Sheikh, Egypt. A 60-member Indian Parliamentary delegation comprising of MPs, MLAs including Speakers of a few States Assemblies visited Cameroon to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Yaoundé, Cameroon from October 2-10, 2014.
Special Envoy to PM, Prof. Ram Shankar Katheria, MOS(HRD) visited Cameroon on July 15-17, 2015 to personally handover invitation letters from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi addressed to Cameroonian President Mr. Paul Biya to attend India-Africa Forum Summit-III scheduled to be held in New Delhi from October 26-30, 2015.
Bilateral Trade: India’s exports to Cameroon have been growing steadily over the years. However, India’s exports dropped to US$249.13 million in 2014-15 registering a decrease of 4% over 2013-14 figure of US$259.62 million. India’s imports, on the other hand, have recorded a quantum jump due to import of large quantity of Petroleum Crude from Cameroon. India’s imports increased to US$745.35 million in 2014-15 registering an increase of 177% over 2013-14 figure of US$268.20 million. Out of total imports, Petroleum Crude import was worth US$705.0 million.
India- Cameroon Bilateral Trade Statistics (Value in US$ Million)
|India ’s Export||118.07||196||251|| 259.62
|Indian’s Import||138.10||524||443|| 268.20
Key potential areas for cooperation and investment are - oil & mining, telecom, fertilizers, oil & gas, agriculture & food processing, forestry, IT, railways and Indian exports of consumer and light engineering goods.
Projects and related activities
1. The Pan-African e-Network Project was inaugurated in June 2010 in Cameroon. The tele-education and telemedicine projects have been set up at Cameroon State Regional University Yaoundé and its hospital and are performing satisfactorily.
2. In 2007 Government of India gifted 60 tractors and agricultural implements to Government of Cameroon.
Line of Credit
1. On May 29 2009, a $ 37.65 million Indian Line of Credit (LoC) for Cameroon funding a project each of Rice and Maize Farm Plantation was operationalized.
2. In September 2012, India and Cameroon signed on a new LOC of $ 42 million for Cassava plantation project in Cameroon.
Education / Training
1. Of 31 slots allocated under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme to Cameroon during 2011-12, 15 slots were utilised. During 2012-13, 28 out of 31 allotted slots were utilised and in the year 2013-14, 35 slots were utilised. During the period 2014-15, 26 slots were utilised.
2. Second time in a row a Cameroonian diplomat attended a one-month Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) organised by the Foreign Service Institute of Ministry of External Affairs in Aug 2012.
Line of Credit: On May 29 2009, a $ 37.65m Indian Line of Credit (LoC) for Cameroon funding a project each of Rice and Maize Farm Plantation was operationalised. In September 2012, India and Cameroon signed on a new LOC of $ 42 million for Cassava plantation project in Cameroon.
Culture and Education: Culture & Media: Indian films are popular and a local channel Capital TV regularly telecasts Indian films. A Rajasthani folk dance troupe sponsored by ICCR performed in Douala, Cameroon in November 2010. Cameroon is officially a French-English bilingual country, even as most official work is in French language. An Indian Film Festival was organised by Honorary Consul of India in 2013. To commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema in Cameroon, an Indian Film Festival was organised from 25/9/2013 to 13/12/2013 in collaboration with the Institut Francais du Cameroun, with French sub-titles by the Honorary Consul of India to Cameroon and the Indian Community.
Indian Community: There are 700-800 Indian expatriates in Cameroon, engaged mostly in trading and small business apart from some professionals. While Indians are generally well-regarded, during the political crisis in Cameroon in February 2008, an Indian manufacturing unit in Douala was vandalised. In some commercial disputes, few incidents of physical violence against Indian nationals were also reported.
Air Connectivity: There are no direct air links with India. The airlines serving Cameroon include Air France, Air Gabon, British Airways, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. There are connections to many destinations across Africa, including regular flights to Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa and Togo. Apart from five flights per week to Paris, Cameroon is connected by direct flights, once a week, to Brussels and Zurich.
Visa: Indians travelling to Cameroon require visa. As there is still no resident Cameroonian High Commission in India, visa needs to be obtained from elsewhere. If approached sufficiently ahead of the visit, India’s Honorary Consul to Cameroon based in Douala can assist in obtaining visa on arrival. Cameroonians travelling to India need to obtain visa which can either be done direct at India’s Consular Sections in Lagos and Abuja. It can also be obtained through the services of India’s Honorary Consul to Cameroon based in Douala, provided applied sufficiently in advance.