During the 1990s, as the Internet in general and e-mail in particular grew in popularity as a means of communication, a number of Cameroonians residing in various parts of the world established a vibrant and lively electronic forum for the discussion of various issues related to their native land. The forum, known as Camnet, demonstrated that Cameroonians living abroad could actively participate in the political, economic and social processes taking place at home. This ability to remain actively engaged in the development of one’s nation through the Internet is what Endeley calls “virtual activism.” Camnet thus distinguished itself as the first and most influential breeding ground for Cameroonian “virtual activism.”
In this publication, however, the author has chosen to present only a representative sample of his own contributions from the late 1990s with a direct bearing on Cameroon’s development. Some of the contributions are in French and in order to reflect the bilingual nature of the debates that took place on Camnet, these have not been translated into English. The informed reader will be struck by the issues which were being debated over 15 years ago as well as by the fact that some of the predictions the author made in the 1990s are a reality today.
This book reflects the importance of the Internet in bridging time and space and ensuring interconnections between Cameroon and its Diaspora. The book demonstrates that mobile Cameroonians do not have to be physically present to be relevant to their homeland.
Dr. Piet Konings, African Studies Centre Leiden, The Netherlands
This meticulously assembled archive undoubtedly adds more historical perspectives on current academic debates about the nature of and political potentials of Cameroonian diaspora-led online forums.Dr. Teke Ngomba, Department of Aeshetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark
About the Author
Dr. Isaac N. Endeley is currently the Chief of the Defence Support Section at the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Prior to his current position, Dr. Endeley worked as a Legal Officer at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) based in Arusha, Tanzania. Dr. Endeley holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Certificate in Education from Keele University in Staffordshire, UK; a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada; and a Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, USA. He has taught at universities in the USA and in Canada.