It has been the priority of the government of Cameroon to have the slave trade village of Bimbia in Limbe 3 council of Fako division in the South West region be reconised internationally. Since 1987 efforts have been on to get Unesco recognise it as a world heritage site. Recently an international symposium Yaounde has highlighted the role of Bimbia during the slave trade in view of advancing arguments for it to be a world tourism centre.
Few places have stories to tell as moving as that of Bimbia. Centuries ago Africans bundled up like cargo and marketed as slaves to be sailed off to America took this route to board ships. Relics of this transatlantic trade can be seen today in Bimbia.
Since 1987 when government started measures to bring the abandonned place to the eyes of the public, tourists have been visiting this place which bears scars and painful memories of the slave trade.
Bimbia’s recognition as a world heritage site has been brought up on several occassions as in a symposium in Paris in early June. June 20, under the patronage of President Biya, an international conference in Yaounde opened on the theme: “Bimbia place of slave trade,memory of humanity”.
Archaeologists, historians, Ministers, diplomats and other experts gathered at the Bational museum to hear the case of Bimbia.
Speakers included the Minister of Arts and Culture Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, the French ambassador to Cameroon Gilles Thibaut and the traditional ruler of Bimbia, Epupa Ekum who all argued out the course of Bimbia’s Unesco heritage site recognition.
Beyond its recognition, Bimbia begs for development to promote tourism and take it to its status of a world tourism centre. Some day Cameroon would be identified as the country of the Bimbia Slave trade village, that place which revives painful memories of the slave trade Era in the world.
A testimony of that inhumane practice the world never dreams of repeating again.