President Paul Biya began a rare state visit to Italy to find investors for his nation’s precarious economy. Biya held talks in Rome on Tuesday with host President Mattarella whose government said the economies of Cameroon and Italy would be “inextricably linked.”
A bilateral business forum that held on Wednesday to review a two-way trade, heavily weighted about 12-to-one in Cameroon’s favor. Cameroon’s economy has been in a tailspin, with high unemployment, low liquidity and low growth in the wake of the Southern Cameroons uprising.
Last year, the Italian President visited Cameroon in a bid to convince potential investors that the African nation was ready for foreign investments. Biya, 84, arrived Italy accompanied by his wife, Chantal who is tipped as one of his possible campaign managers in the 2018 presidential elections.
It is President’s Biya first official state visit to a European Union country ever since the Anglophone crisis. He boasted in front of an Italian business community on Wednesday in Rome that Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world where a government has spent more than 30 years in power.
The man who has misruled the small country found in the West Coast of Africa also said Cameroon was stable. “It is rare today to find a Government that has lasted 30 years. This is the case of Cameroon. And then we have also set up institutions to fight corruption.”
By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai