Cameroon Power vs. Duties Over their Land

By Minette Achankeng, Franciscan Action Network Staff Member

Cameroon being a third world country, the government often looks at business partnerships as a way to enhance their own pockets and not always in the best interest of its people. Businesses such as Herakles Farms, a New York-based agriculture company, think they can just come into the country to a launch a business without any regard for the rights and well being of the indigenous population or following the regulations of that country. An article from the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency states the contrary, “Cameroon government ordered the company [Herakles Farm] to halt it operations, saying the project had failed to obtain necessary permits.” Grassroots organizations such as the Forest Ministry, celebrate this decision because Cameroon is doing what is right for its people. The country is sending out a strong message that “African Countries are open for business, but they’re not open for theft.” The Inter Press Service (IPS) states that Herakles Farm does have a 2009 agreement contract  with the Cameroonian government to develop more than 73,000 hectares for new palm oil plantations  but it has been ignoring the community concerns and failing to comply with both the court mandates and a government injunction. When companies ignore mandates and concerns of the people, the government needs to step in and stop all operations. This hasn’t always been the case in the past.  As a Cameroonian and a Franciscan Action Network staff member I appreciate the value of caring for God’s creation and protecting the environment. We applaud the NGO Forest Ministry and the Cameroonian government for standing up for what is right. As it says in Genesis, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the world animals.”  Genesis 1: 26-29

In response to the pressure to do what is right and what is good for business, the Herakles Farm company has recently stated that “it will comply fully and transparently with government regulations in force, and it hopes to understand and resolve these actions by the ministry.” With this statement, I thank the Cameroon government and hope the community will be looking forward to a constructive business with Herakles Farm Company.

 

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Published in: on June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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