Advancing Professional Excellence for Development
Yaoundé, October 4, 2010.
On September 23, 2010, during a mission by World Bank Institute's (WBI) Scholarships Team, the Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) organized a meeting at the World Bank Country Office in Yaoundé.
| ||The purpose of this meeting was to introduce Ms. Danielle Carbonneau, the new Scholarships Administrator, and Mr. Lamoussa Gama, Program Officer, to the local Cameroon-based JJ/WBGSP Alumni and the current JJ/WBGSP scholars of Economic Policy Management Program at University of Yaoundé II, one of the JJ/WBGSP's partnership programs.|
The gathering comprising more than 20 members also allowed the WBI to learn from JJ/WBGSP Alumni and scholars how the Scholarships Program and the knowledge gained through their degree programs have enriched their lives and careers.
The JJ/WBGSP Alumni who come from all works of life have been making significant contributions to development in Cameroon since returning from their graduate studies programs. In 2008, they created the Alumni Association of Cameroon (ALUMCAM) who are graduates of top universities in France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and Cameroon, and they have obtained degrees in disciplines such as economic policy management, reproductive and sexual health research, health policy and management, taxation policy, mathematics education, post and telecommunications engineering, and mathematics education. They are now back home and serving in different capacities, mostly at governmental institutions. ALUMCAM objectives are to:
- Maintain the link between the JJ/WBGSP and their Alumni
- Liaise with fellow alumni, development stakeholders and other alumni associations
- Create awareness of the existence and importance of the JJ/WBGSP in Cameroon
- Organize capacity building seminars/workshops for the members and targeted groups (undergraduate, post graduate and professional students) geared towards profile orientation
- Promote solidarity fraternity and mutuality among members for healthy social and professional growth
- Collaborate with other alumni associations to realize common objectives.•
The members often interact with those of Chad and Senegal and carry out joint activities such as capacity building workshops and seminars in health, agriculture, environment, gender and socio-economic development. They also hold bi-monthly meetings to create awareness and fraternity among members.
Ms. Carbonneau announced that WBI and JJ/WBGSP will be launching a new online network for Alumni to facilitate interaction between WBI, the Government of Japan, and JJ/WBGSP Alumni and scholars. She also stated that the JJ/WBGSP sees the establishment of relationships between the JJ/WBGSP Alumni and local World Bank Country Offices to be a priority and expressed her hope that connections forged between the Bank's operational staff and recipients of the JJ/WBGSP will improve capacity building and development on the ground. The presence of some Country Office staff helped begin this new relationship.
Since its inception in 1987, the JJ/WBGSP, which is solely funded by the Japanese government and administered by WBI, has awarded sixty-five Masters' degree scholarships for Cameroon nationals to study at prominent universities around the world. In all, Japan has contributed more than $225 million to the graduate studies of over 4,000 Alumni throughout the Bank's client countries. This academic year, an additional four scholars from Cameroon will be traveling overseas for graduate studies, and four more Cameroonians will be supported to study at the Economics Policy Management Program at University of Yaoundé II.
Impressions of some ALUCAM members
Dr. Peter Ngang Nchotu: “I think this scholarship has been of great use for the beneficiaries as it empowers us in our career. We have acquired important training and gradually we are coming to ALUMCAM trying to access how to put and networking this training. This meeting was very useful giving us some motivations to implement knowledge that we have acquired.”
Jacob Tegum Aben: “My impressions are very good and the last meeting we held was an occasion for us to come together and implement a good number of things. I would make an appeal that ALUMCAM go ahead with some concrete projects for those who are not well placed to practice the skills we have acquired during this program, and I think the chosen moment has come for us to help these comrades who were not fortunate enough to put these wonderful skills into practice”.