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India - Cameroon Bilateral Relations

Political Relations
India and Cameroon have friendly and cordial relations dating back to the independence of the latter in 1960. The Indian High Commissioner in Abuja is concurrently accredited to Cameroon. India will soon be establishing a Resident Indian Mission in Cameroon, as part of the 18 new Embassies to be opened in Africa over the period 2018-21.

India’s bilateral engagement with Cameroon gathered momentum through high level visits between the two countries including the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III). Cameroon leadership acknowledges India’s contributions to Africa, its secular democracy and economic progress and the leadership it provided to the Non- Aligned Movement.

Bilateral Visits

  • (I) From Cameroon to India

 

  • Cameroonian President Mr. Paul Biya visited India in March 1983 to attend NAM Summit.
  • 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.
  • Mr Emmanuel Nganou Dogmas, Minister for Economy & Planning Mrs. Bankang Mbock Catherine, Minister of Social Welfare, September 12-16, 2012 – visited India for signing of $42m Credit Line for the Cassava Plantation Project.
  • Defence Minister Mr Edger Alain Mebe Ngo’o had visited India in March 2012 to attend DefExpo India 2012 held in New Delhi.
  • Mr.Mbella Mbella Lejeune, Minister for External Relations led the Cameroonian delegation that participated in the India-Africa Summit-III from October 26-30, 2015.
  • A 8- member delegation comprising of Ministry of Public Health Officials, Doctors and Pharmacists visited India from October 3-5, 2016 to attend the conference -Advantage Health Care India 2016- organised by FICCI in Noida, UP.
  • Minister of Economy Mr. Louis Paul MotaZe led a Cameroonian delegation to India from 29 January to 4 February 2017 to sign a commercial loan agreement with Exim Bank of India worth USD 93.50 million for construction of 225 kV Nkongsamba - Bafoussam and Yaounde – Abong Mbang Transmission Line.
  • Cameroonian Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development Mr. Louis Pal Motaze again visited India to attend AfDB meeting held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat from 22-26 May, 2017.
  • Marie Rose Nguini Effa, President of African Parliamentary Forum on Population Development attended a conference on 'enhancing role of parliamentarians in the inter-linkage between population issues and the 2030 agenda of sustainable development', held in New Delhi on 13 September 2017.
  • Cameroon Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Emilia Mojowa Lifaka, who is also the Vice-Chairperson of Executive Committee of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), visited India, as part of a delegation comprising representatives of African Group of Commonwealth Speakers Forum on 11 October, 2017.
  • (II)From India to Cameroon

 

  • From Indian side, Minster of State for External Affairs visited Cameroon in April 1990.
  • External Affairs Minister of India met with Cameroonian Foreign Minister in New York in September 2002.
  • In June 2008, Mr. Anand Sharma, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, 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 to Cameroonian President Mr. Paul Biya to attend India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III).
  • Mr. Rahul Navin, Commissioner of Income Tax, Foreign Tax and Tax Research Division, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue participated in the 10th Plenary Meeting of the General Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes in November 2017 in Yaoundé.

Trade and Commercial Relations

India and Cameroon signed a Trade Agreement in February 1968, thus laying the foundations for bilateral trade arrangements. In 2017-18, India emerged as the fifth largest trading partner of Cameroon with two-way trade amounting to US$ 407 million. India’s exports registered an increase by 30% to US $ 194 million as against US$ 149 million during 2016-17. The overall trade slowed down due to reduction in India’s imports of crude oil which reduced from US $314 million to US $154 million during 2017-18. A significant Indian investment in Cameroon during the year was the establishment by an Indian company Africure Pharmaceuticals of a pharma factory with an investment of US $ 29.8 million in Douala in February 2018 to produce essential drugs for local consumption.

India – Cameroon Bilateral Trade Statistics (Value in US $ million)

Year

India's Exports to Cameroon

India's Imports from Cameroon

Total Trade

2013-14

260

268

528

2014-15

249

745

994

2015-16

191

558

749

2016-17

149

359

508

2017-18

194

213

407

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.

Cameroon recorded 3.7% growth rate owing to the increased revenues from oil & gas sector, and improved performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Although Cameroon's economy is not as oil-reliant as most other CEMAC countries, export revenue and fiscal receipts have nonetheless been hit by the downturn in commodity prices.   The IMF concluded the review of three-year Extended Credit Facility Arrangement in December 2017 which enabled disbursement of US $ 117 million, thus increasing the amount to US $ 293 million. This programme is aimed assisting Cameroon’s efforts to restore fiscal and external sustainability and improve private-sector led growth.

Defence Cooperation

India has been providing various training slots for the Cameroonian Armed Forces in Indian Armed Forces Training establishments under the ITEC program. Focus of our Defence Cooperation is to provide training in counter terrorism, anti-piracy operations and in UN peace keeping operations. Defence cooperation forms an important facet of our bilateral engagement. A senior representative from the Cameroon Ministry of Defence attended the DefExpo held in Bengaluru in April 2018.

Projects and related activities

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.
In 2007 Government of India gifted 60 tractors and agricultural implements to Government of Cameroon.

Development Cooperation

  • (I) Lines of Credit & Commercial Loan Agreements

 

  • In May 2009, a $ 37.65 million Indian Line of Credit (LoC) for Cameroon funding a project each of Rice and Maize Farm Plantation was operationalized.
  • In September 2012, India and Cameroon signed on a new LOC of $ 42 million for Cassava plantation project in Cameroon.

 

  • During the visit of Cameroon Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Mr. Louis Paul MotaZe, to New Delhi from 29 January to 4 February 2017, Cameroon signed a commercial loan agreement with Exim Bank of India worth USD 93.50 million for construction of 225 kV Nkongsamba - Bafoussam and Yaounde – AbongMbang Transmission Line.
  • (II) Capacity Building

 

  • India has been supporting Cameroon’s efforts in Capacity building under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme since 1964. India offers 32 training slots under ITEC to Cameroon annually.
  • Consequent to the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) held in New Delhi in October 2015, India has been offering additional training programmes to Cameroon in diverse subjects ranging from Agriculture to Hydropower. In 2017-18, 4 Cameroonians have been trained under India-Africa Forum Summit-III (IAFS-III) Programmes in the prominent training Institutes in India.


Culture and Education

Cameroon is officially a French-English bilingual country, even as most official work is in French language. 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. 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 in 2013 by the Honorary Consul of India to Cameroon and the Indian Community in collaboration with the Institut Francais du Cameroun, with French sub-titles.

Under the cultural outreach activities, the Indian High Commission supported a colloquium ‘Yoga: Meditation and Well-Being’ in April 2018 at Douala, Cameroon, which was organized by Heartfulness Institute together with our Honorary Consul. The event was attended by eminent personalities, sociologists, doctors and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.  

Indian Community
There are about 1000 Indian expatriates in Cameroon, engaged mostly in trading and small business apart from some professionals. Indians are generally well-regarded. Majority of Indian nationals are living Douala, financial city and a port city of Cameroon

Air Connectivity
 There are no direct air links with India. Indian nationals largely use the Ethiopian Airlines which connects to Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi via Addis Ababa. 

Visa Procedures
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 Indian High Commission in Abuja or its Office in Lagos. It can also be obtained through the services of India’s Honorary Consul to Cameroon based in Douala, provided applied sufficiently in advance. India extends e-Visa facility for Cameroon nationals as per extant guidelines.

10 September 2018

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