Yaounde Conference Center at 40 : Tracing the past and mapping the future

Yaounde Conference Center at 40 : Tracing the past and mapping the future

CAMEROON  – To illustrate the contribution of the Yaoundé Conference Center to national and international affairs especially in the domain of culture, a lot of activities were organized to its 40th anniversary. This celebration filled with a lot of activities ran from the 1st to the 4th of November 2022 at the Yaoundé Conference Center.

The Yaounde Conference Center is considered by many not just as a building, but also a place of memory and the promotion of Cameroon’s diversity. The day was celebrated under the theme “Yaounde Conference Center; 40 years at the service of political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic outreach of Cameroon”. To mark the 40 years anniversary, several activities were organized in tribute to this architecture which is a place of politics, diplomacy and most of all, cultural activities. Some of the activities included a sports walk, various cultural events, open door days, film screenings, a round table conference, and a host of others. A photo exhibition characterized the celebration in which images and photos of significant events held at the Conference Center since its creation in May 12, 1982 by President Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Round Table Conference

Even though the Yaounde Conference Hall has recorded a lot of successes, a lot of cultural promoters of Cameroon still say a lot have to be done in order to make the Conference Hall stand out amongst cultural edifices in the world. They were speaking during a round table conference organized as part of activities to mark the celebration on the 2nd of November 2022. The gathering was conducted by over seven panelists and saw the participation of over one thousand students drawn from different higher institutes of learning in Yaoundé. Speaking at the conference, Pr. Mathias Eric Owona Ngini, expert in political science made mention of the fact that, the conference center since its inauguration in 1982 has not only served as a place of political unity, but a place of ancestral worship “ Since I was young, I was told that there is a dragon buried beneath this hall. This is why till date; the center has served in hosting many important cultural events, notably the just ended Ecrans Noirs Film Festival”, he appreciated.

The round table conference was also an opportunity to present the assets of the infrastructure by pointing out that, despite the weight of age, it still renders enormous services to the public. According to Pr. Cecile Dollisane Ebosse, an expert in African civilization, the center has to offer more than what it’s offering now in order to be remembered for life “For over a long time, the Conference Center has served as a source of information to many. It has also served as points of theatre arts and conferences. But I would love to see this Conference Center become more than what it is now. In this light I mean the conference center has to have a training center to train translators and interpreters in different languages. They could also offer training in theatre arts”, she proposed.

In response to this, Christophe Mien Zok, the Director General of the Yaoundé Conference center, made it clear that, many of such projects exist for the future. “We have taken all what is said into consideration, and we have planned that in the near future, we can construct a theatre, an amusement park, and if possible a training center”, he responded.

It should be recalled that the Yaoundé Conference Center was constructed in 1978 and inaugurated on the 12th of May 1982 by President Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Kuwan Chelsea Kernyuy (Trainee editor) ©www.noocultures.info

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