A visit from the President of Cameroon
H.E. Paul Biya visited INBAR as part of his state visit to China
23 March 2018 – On Friday INBAR welcomed the President of Cameroon, H.E. Paul Biya, to their Headquarters in Beijing.
H.E. Biya is in China on a state visit, and has already met with the President of China, H.E. Xi Jinping. Today, the President visited INBAR.
H.E. Biya’s visit included a tour of INBAR’s bamboo and rattan showroom, where he looked at handicrafts, furniture, charcoal and even drainage pipes made from plant fibre. The president also discussed the establishment of a new Central Africa Regional Office, to coordinate work on bamboo and rattan. At the end of the tour, H.E. Biya presented INBAR with a signed statement, congratulating INBAR on its work. According to H.E. Biya, “bamboo and rattan are very significant for sustainable development in Africa and across the world”, and he is “proud” of Cameroon’s contribution.
Fast-growing, with thousands of uses, bamboo and rattan are increasingly being seen as tools for poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation and land restoration. In Cameroon, bamboo is being incorporated into climate-smart farming and land restoration practices, as well as to make clean-burning, renewable charcoal. H.E. Biya believes there is even more potential for bamboo and rattan to help his country’s growth: “Cameroon looks forward to working more closely with INBAR to develop our national bamboo and rattan industry, and to inspire sustainable development across Central Africa.”
INBAR has 18 Member states in Africa, and Cameroon is currently the Vice-Chair of INBAR’s Council. INBAR and Cameroon plan to announce the establishment of a new Central Africa Regional Office at the upcoming Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress, which will be held in Beijing in June. The Office would help to coordinate several projects which INBAR is implementing across Central Africa, in partnership with agencies such as the Food and Agricultural Organization, Global Environment Facility and international Fund for Agricultural Development.
“Bamboo and rattan grow abundantly across Africa, and there is significant potential for these plants to create jobs and drive green growth”, according to Hans Friederich, Director General of INBAR. “China’s bamboo industry is worth $30 billion and employs almost ten million people, so there are lots of experiences to be shared and opportunities for South-South cooperation between China and Cameroon.”