21st University Games. Cameroon’s National Integration on the Move

The new University Governance programme put in place with instructions from the President of the Republic does not only focus on professionalising the higher education system but also to ensure that it inculcates aspects of national integration through extra-curricular activities like sports. 

It is another season for university sports in the country and this time more than ever before, the promotion of living together, national integration and the indivisibility of Cameroon is being placed on high premium by organisers. This, according the University Sports Federation, is in line with the vision of the President of the Republic to see a more solidifies and one Cameroon where every culture thrives. The 21st edition of Cameroon’s University Games kicks off in Maroua, Far North Region Friday May 4 with all the eight State universities and other private higher institutions of learning on the starting block. In effect, over 20 delegations including one foreign delegation from Chad will take part in the 21st edition which seeks to foster not only national harmony but also sub-regional integration, core values that the President of the Republic holds very dear in his heart.     

With higher institutions chosen from all the ten regions of the country, the University Games just like the FENASCO Games for secondary and primary schools is a veritable avenue for Cameroon to showcase not only its prowess in national integration but also its rich cultural heritage.  

Apart from detecting budding talents in diverse sporting disciplines, the University Games is a vector for the celebration of Cameroon’s multiculturalism through various Fans Clubs which most often strive to represent the cultural identity of not only their regions but those from the other cultural zones of the country. This alone gives a sense of belonging and oneness in a country that prides itself of over 250 ethnic groups. Thus, officials of the Ministry of Higher Education say the varsity games is a platform to showcase the country’s diversity. 

The Olympic spirit instilled in the youths cannot be neglected. The spirit of fair play, togetherness and fighting spirit in team sports is what the Head of State has been preaching to the youths over the years. These values touches the depth of peace promotion and a harmonious environment so that socio-economic development projects initiated by the Head of State can be implemented hitch free.   

The population of the Far North Region especially those in Maroua will in the next few days savour the country’s rich cultural endowment through cultural displays by the various fans club. Already, 16 delegations took to the streets of Maroua on the eve of the sporting competition in what they described as “Games Caravan.” The population savoured the foretaste of what awaits them in the days ahead to the excitement of many inhabitants of the hitherto gloomy Maroua that was hit by repeated Boko Haram attacks.  The Fans Club showcased peace, national integration and multicultural in their displays. Professor Idrissou Allioum, Rector of the University of Maroua noted that it is a popular approach as far as this year’s games are concern. All necessary security measures according to Far North Governor, Midjiyawa Bakary have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free varsity games.    

Shawn-Nathan Epang 

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