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  • Dibussi Tande

    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!


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« How the Law Governing Legislative Elections Largely Predetermines Election Results | Main | Chinua Achebe: Long Way From Home »

July 10, 2007


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Nga Adolph

Preposterous,utter rubbish!!!Continuation of the episode called,"Exploitation of our natural resources by westerners in collaboration with their home based stooges".Southern Cameroonians rise and protect your Fatherland.

Nga Adolph,


I tried to leave this comment to your post at African Path but their software app was choking (again) so I came to The Den. Good to see you still blogging about news and issues in Cameroon. Here's what I have to say about this article by Sofia Hurtado:

Hello Dibussi,

It's good to see you contributing articles here at the African Path as well as writing for "the Den". I'm a bit surprised that you re-published this article as both the headline and the content are very misleading. This was of course the intent of the article's author.

Advertising supplements to the New York Times or any other major newspaper is just that, advertising. The first tip-off in this Cameroon investment supplement is the reference to Summit Communications, a company that is well known in the game of publishing "positive spin" business and investment reports for emerging markets and developing countries. They have an exclusive arrangement with The New York Times advertising department and have published over 112 country reports to date. When you see the words "Summit Communications" the reader should understand that some government somewhere paid and paid big to publish this stuff.

BTW: On Page 1 (bottom) of the NY Times supplement for Cameroon investment it states clearly in black & white:

This supplement has been produced and sponsored by Summit Communications. It did not involve the reporting or editing staff of The New York Times.

Keep it honest, Dibussi, keep it honest. Here is some more info about Summit Communications from their website in case anyone is interested:



Hi Bill,

I would have understood you if you had a problem with Sophia Hutardo's commentary. However, it seems your problem is with the reference to The New York Times in the title of the article. I have absolutely no problem with the said title. The advertisement supplement (which we refer to in Cameroon as a "publi-reportage" appeared in that paper (irrespective of who put it together) and the New York Times got paid for carrying the advert. So the title is right on target.

Also, I am quite familiar with Summit Communications. In case you are not aware of it, this same outfit played a minor role in the corruption trial of former FEICOM boss Ondo Ndong because of a similar supplement which appeared in the New York Times in 2001 and which was apparently used as a cover for embezzlement of state funds.

So for the record, the New York Times took part in "selling" or sprucing up Cameroon's image. Nothing wrong with that; that's how papers survive. An countries do this all the time. However, as far as Cameroonians are concerned, the Biya regime has just "wasted" about 110 million FCFA of taxpayers' money on a prestige project with no real benefit to Cameroon – no different from paying 250 million FCFA annually to those ineffective lobbyists in Washington, DC. After all, how many new businesses or even business leads resulted from the 2001 supplement or the other published in Le Monde, Jeune Afrique, etc.?

I am quite familiar with US/Cameroon business dealings to know that real/viable business contacts are initiated and developed between Cameroon and American businesses elsewhere. Stop by Chicago Cameroon/US Trade forum this September or at any of the Cameroon/US investment forums organized regularly in Washington DC to appreciate why that advertisement supplement serves no credible purpose. Alternatively, go back and read transcripts of the Ondo Ndong trial to understand how such supplements have become part and parcel of the corruption schemes designed by the ruling elite in Cameroon.

If you want to get a better idea why Cameroonians are outraged by this advert supplement, read the commentary by Samira Edi titled "an exercise in futility" which appears on the Imhotep blog at: http://www.greatimhotep.com/

So absolutely no apologies for republishing this article - unedited - on this blog. In fact, I don't even have to agree with every article that I republish here; sometimes they are meant to generate debate or to simply inform Cameroonians (who form the majority of the readership) about what others are writing about them, about their country, and about their Government.

So this is really not about the New York Times or Summit Communications. It is all about Cameroon.


Ma Mary

If someone uses my premises (home or office) to facilitate a crime, I would not go scot free. If they pay me to use my premises, I would be in even deeper trouble. If it is not illegal, it is at ethically shaky.

Somehow many corporations think they can benefit from facilitating stinking projects without some of the smell rubbing off on them. Hello, Mr New York Times, do not lecture us about honesty! You are no different ethically from the Swiss bankers which facilitate theft by corrupt dictators and then claim innocence or from those who sell weapons to both sides of stupid armed conflicts in Africa.

We are watching you.


We welcome the French puppet, Mr. Paul Biya, to continue his PR campaign in the US. The more PR he buys here, the more he invites scrutiny to, and exposure of the true nature of his governorship of his French colonial enclave called la Republique du Cameroun (Republic of Cameroun):

1) Max Bardet, a French helicopter pilot in French Cameroun (la Republique du Cameroun) between 1962 and 1964 testifies that, "in two years, the regular army took the Bamileke country, from the south to the north, and completely ravaged it. They massacred between 300,000 to 400,000 people. A true genocide."

2) Imagine if the Hutu extremists in Rwanda remained in power and became entrenched after the 1994 French genocide in Rwanda. In Mr. Biya's country, he represents the entrenched continuation of a junta that conducted France's first modern genocide in Africa. It was conducted under France's tutelage directed by the following French governors and Pro-Consuls of the country Mr. Biya is attempting to sell to the American public: Messmer, Ramadier and Ahidjo. All the young cadres in the 1950s, 60s and 70s including Paul Biya were part of that French contrived and tutored system that participated in this French genocide in Mr. Biya's country.

3) Mr. Paul Biya's country, la Republique du Cameroun, is the only country on earth that neither commemorates nor celebrates her day of independence from France (wink, wink), JANUARY 1, 1960. A generation of Camerounese do not even know when their country became independent!

4) As Paul Biya puts millions of dollars in the pockets of already well-off American spin doctors like the Lobbying Firms, PR Firms and The New York Times; real doctors and nurses in public hospitals in his country went on strike this week because they have not been paid for 15 months.

5) This PR campaign is part of the election rigging strategy that Paul Biya has put in place for the forth-coming elections according to an informant. By instrumentalizing the "newspaper of record" that they believe the American elite reads, the French puppet Paul Biya hopes the image he's painting as a benevolent "peace keeper" in a country poised for growth should naturally justify the "overwhelming victory" of his corrupt party in the electoral masquerade ball being planned for July 22, 2007.

Joe Abey

Thank you for keeping the den far from being another propaganda machine.Whether I agree with you or not it's not relevant to why I sneak to the den.Keep up the good work.


Summit Reports is another PR mill serving the needs and wishes of the powerful. Never mind its alliance with the NYT. This is what it says in its webpage:

Summit Communications is dedicated to raising the profile of the world's most dynamic emerging markets. As an independent communications agency specializing in the production of special country, regional, and sectoral promotional reports, Summit Communications has acquired extensive experience in analyzing the issues important to the business and financial communities of the United States. Through an exclusive arrangement with The New York Times Advertising Department, Summit Communications has published over 112 reports since 1999, reaching the most influential decision-makers in the American political, financial, and economic communities.


All too often, the crisis-driven orientation of American news outlets results in insufficient coverage of the sweeping reforms and positive developments taking place in emerging markets. Our reports aim to redress this imbalance by providing an opportunity for key public and private sector leaders to address the positive evolution of their nations' economic development and business environments.

Through extensive research and interviews with top government officials and key business leaders, Summit Communications presents balanced and constructive portraits highlighting legislative reforms, good governance, improvements in business climates, and opportunities for partnership and investment.

Summit Communications is solely responsible for the content of our reports; therefore, the editors of The New York Times do not participate in their preparation. As an independent agency with full editorial control, we have found that our clients welcome the opportunity to provide greater input and review of our reports' content in conveying their message to the influential readership of The New York Times."

Great! Except that Cameroun's kleptocrats HAVE TO PAY for access to the NYT's audience. Business interests from France or UK or China do not have to pay for access to the NYT audience, or do they? They are simply reported as news. If the Times wishes to do the right thing, it should simply do the right thing and report fairly from Africa and not perpetuate the onesided flows of wealth in exchange for access. Why do I think that they are not listening and do not care?

Meanwhile, check out this site about the history of propaganda aka public relations aka manufactured consent. It is a real eye openner:


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