Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cameroon OIC to Celebrate Silver Jubilee Next Year in Grand Style.

By Christopher Ambe Shu
COIC graduates:ready for job market
Cameroon Opportunities Industrialization Center, (COIC)-Buea will turn 25 years next year and plans are underway to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in grand style, Barrister Sam Ekontang Elad, COIC Board Chairman has hinted.

Barrister Elad dropped the hint last month during the graduation ceremony of the 20th batch of trainees from COIC, which was presided at by Edwin Ngwana, Social & Cultural Adviser at Southwest Governor’s Office.

“Cameroon OIC would by next year be 25 year old and we are going to celebrate our 25th anniversary in a very grand style-God willing”, Barrister Elad said in his address to the audience at the graduation.

COIC was graduating 301 trainees who undertook a two-year vocational /technical training in different fields that include: Auto Mechanics/Motor Electricity, Information & Communication Technology, Building Construction, Hotel Catering & Management, Metal Fabrication Welding and Spraying, & Wood Work.

The Board Chair said COIC Buea, an affiliate of OIC International with headquarters in Philadelphia, USA, was established in 1986 as a non –profit, community-based skills training program.

Adolf  Ngundu Lyonga:COIC Director
He expressed gratitude to those who worked hard to ensure that COIC came into being such as Late Rev Leon Sullivan, Dr Mrs. Theresia Elad and Late Athanasius E.Kome. He recalled that when COIC started with 60 trainees, it was USAID that funded it and when it stopped funding, Bread –for- the -World came in and also ended its support in 2002.

From 2002 to date the Cameroon Government is the main financier of COIC.

Since 2004 Government’s annual subvention to COIC increased from 75 million to 150 million FCFA, Barrister Elad said. The Board Chair added that“COIC is the only NGO in the Southwest Region to have benefited from the HIPC funds, which funds at their first phase, are expected to empower the Centre with about 107,500,000 FCFA”

He disclosed that about 48 million FCFA of the HIPC funds would be set aside “to provide graduating trainees with seed capital for them to borrow to set up on their own”. He lauded the Government and the various funding agencies for their support to COIC.

 Board Chairman Elad handing Prize to deserving graduate
While congratulating the graduates, Barrister Elad warned advised them, “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.” He called for collective support to keep COIC afloat despite the problems it faces. “I encourage parents to join us in sustaining a bright hope of the future for our Centre”

Barrister Elad strongly called on Buea Council to relocate the Great Soppo market, which is on COIC land, so that COIC can use the land “for the benefit of the young Cameroonians we are training”

But COIC is at crossroad. “We are working hard to align the present vision our Government has for COIC with the vision OIC International expects us to follow. The next several weeks may redefine what COIC will stand for. Whatever the case, we are determined that the winners will be our young people”, remarked Barrister Elad, COIC Board chair

Presiding at the graduation, Edwin Ngwana, who sat in for the South west Governor Koumpa Issa, explored the graduates to put the skills acquired into proper use. He assured COIC management that the Government would continue supporting the Centre, noting that COIC is on the right course as concerned human resource development.

Earlier in his welcome speech, Adolf Ngundu Lyonga, Program Director of COIC-Buea, had this remark about the graduates: “These young men and women have been adequately trained and we are proud of the hard work and dedication they exercised through out their training here. They have not only received training in their various vocational fields but also on needed life skills training on managing a business.”

Lyonga noted with joy that, when trainees of COIC’s department of ICT last December sat for the Government Exam, they came out overall first in the Southwest region, scoring 86%

He assured employers that COIC graduates would be an asset to them rather than liability.

He reminded graduates who would want to be self-employed that the HIPC/COIC Revolving Loan Scheme is open to them.

The Program Director disclosed that since inception in 1986, COIC has trained 25,000 Cameroonian youth in its regular programs and over 3000 in its outreach programs. Over 15000 COIC Trainees are gainfully employed, he said

He lauded Fako Elements Cultural association (FECA0 Minnesota in the US for their decision to henceforth sponsor six Bakweri youth yearly in COIC.

It emerged that new vocations such as Textile and Fashion Design (dress-making), Agriculture, Weaving and Handicraft will soon go operational at COIC-Buea

.Highlights of the graduation included an discourse by university don, Madam Ngeve Rebecca Eposi on the theme “Vocational Training ,Youth Employment & Moral Responsibilities of Youth in Economic Development” ,and award of prizes to meritorious graduates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please to know that COIC is celebreting 25 years. I am a graduate from COIC 1995 - 1997 in the Auto Body department. I am presently working in Germany as quality Inspector for military vehicles.

Kingsley Tabot