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« Dual Citizenship (I): Time for a Long Overdue National Debate | Main | Independent Candidates: The Much Needed Tonic for Cameroons Lethargic Democratic Process? »

June 06, 2006


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Nga Adolph

As a Cameroonian living in the diaspora, the benefits of Dual Citizenship cannot be overemphasised.What I donot understand is why a diasporan cannot have full rights such as to exercise his political ambitions like any other home based citizen.In the countries cited above(Ghana,South Africa and India),diasporans cannot become President,Minister,Supreme Court President etc.Meanwhile a country like Senegal made it possible since the mid 50's for Leopold Sedar Senghor to form his own political party,contest for elections and eventually became the first president of Senegal.Or was that one of those cases that falls within the 'exceptions'.I would like to know why its not possible for a 'diasporan' to have an elective or executive post?


Dr. A. A. Agbormbai

There are many lessons here for the Cameroonian Government to learn, as it is in its own best interests to attract the pool of skilled labour that the Cameroonian Diaspora represents.

However, contrary to the position of some countries that accept dual citizens, I believe that the Cameroonian Diaspora should be as politically active in Cameroon as indegeneous Cameroonians.


While I agree that dual citizens should be actively involved in Politics, I agree with those countries which insist that they renounce the other citizenship before occupying key positions in the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government. An America cannot become a President of Cameroon even if he has Cameroonian roots.

For example, in 1998, Valdas Adamkus won the presidency of Lithuania as a U.S. citizen, then renounced that citizenship before he could take office. That is the right thing to do.

Dr. A. A. Agbormbai

Good point Zacheus.


Tande, great work. Yours is the best blog on Cameroon. It must a labour of love for you given the Cameroonian government's track record when it comes to responding to proposals. (Remember what became of the great proporsals you made on the bill for declaration of assets?).

The government of the day in Cameroon has no vision. There is no coherent plan on any issue that affects (will affect) the country. Nowhere is this absence of vision more demonstrated than in the government's ambiguous stance on immigration. Tell me the wisdom is granting Cameroonian citizenship to French nationals, who hardly make any economic contributions to the country, whilst denying citizenship to Africans who have resided in the country for generations and contribute substantially to the economy?
It is this senseless immigration policy that extends to the government's stance on dual citizenship for Cameroon-born foreign passport holders. It is obvious from the examples you have cited that granting such individuals with the possibility of acquiring dual nationality would have far reaching economic impact but I can bet my last cent that the government will not heed your call to reason.


You make a great case for diversity rooted in reason.... It sort of bothers me that so much is based on economics and what we can get from immigration policy... rather than more on the humanism that could help us build together... What do you think?


Hi Ellen,

I agree with you that there is a cultural component to the dual citizenship debate. however, this is the least attractive selling point to African governments - they are already inundated with Western culture so granting dual citizenship to Africans because they are going to bring in more of the same is not a strong argument.

So I share underlying economic message in the author's articl - that is the only language that African governments MAY understand at this time...


Unfortunately the situation in India is not as positive as you describe it. The indian Dual citizenship scheme, called OCI, is nothing more than a glorified Visa. It is difficult to get, due to strange regulations many children of indian couples are not eligible (it's described in detail on the wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_citizenship_law).
There are quite a number of drawbacks, which makes india in my opinion not the shining forerunner at the dual-citizenship front, but a bad example of politicians trying to deceive the people.

Txarly Txiki

Thanks for this article on Cameroonian citizenship.


could Paul Biya and his wife be dual citizens of some European country like France? I suspect that there are many such Cameroonians with dual French citizenship and nobody really checks or cares. It is double standard to serve some people.

Innocent Mancho

There are a good number of Cameroonians who enjoy dual citizenship. Samuel Eto'o Fils is a prime example. While the government of Cameroon has silently accepted the dual citizenship of professional fooballs, which it uses to promote the countries sporting image, unfortunately it has failed (until recently)to acknowledge the contributions of ordinary citizens who excel in equal terms in their various chosen professions.

This selective or better still voluntary blindness to the acquisition of a second citizenship by some Cameroonians is an open manifestations of the governments' inconsistency for close 30 years; a replica of its track record in corruption and descrimination.


A very good read. Thanks to the author. I was wondering if there is any update on this issue. There was a rumor going around that Cameroon now accepts dual citizenship. Does anyone have news on this?. Further, if there is such a movement to lobby the government, I would like to become a member.

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