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Virtual Activism on Cameroon

The CamNet Files

Isaac N. Endeley

Publication Year: 2013

During the 1990s, as the Internet in general and e-mail in particular grew in popularity as a means of communication, a number of Cameroonians residing in various parts of the world established a vibrant and lively electronic forum for the discussion of various issues related to their native land. The forum, known as Camnet, demonstrated that Cameroonians living abroad could actively participate in the political, economic and social processes taking place at home. This ability to remain actively engaged in the development of oneís nation through the Internet is what Endeley calls ìvirtual activism.î Camnet thus distinguished itself as the first and most influential breeding ground for Cameroonian ìvirtual activism.î Although Camnet appeared to be dominated by political discussions, it was a truly multi-dimensional forum. No topic was explicitly forbidden and on some occasions the participants conducted extensive debates on issues that had nothing to do with Cameroon or with politics. In this publication, however, the author has chosen to present only a representative sample of his own contributions from the late 1990s with a direct bearing on Cameroonís development. Some of the contributions are in French and in order to reflect the bilingual nature of the debates that took place on Camnet, these have not been translated into English. The informed reader will be struck by the issues which were being debated over 15 years ago as well as by the fact that some of the predictions the author made in the 1990s are a reality today.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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p. 2-2

Copyright Page, Quotes

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pp. 3-5

Contents

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pp. iii-iv

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Preface

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pp. v-x

During the 1990s, as the Internet in general and e-mail in particular Cameroonians residing in various parts of the world established a vibrant and lively electronic forum for the discussion of various issues related to their native land. This Cameroonian Internet forum or network, known as Camnet, was hosted on computers based at the ...

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I. On Cameroon Politics In General

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pp. 1-46

Following the joint legislative and municipal elections of July regarding the outcome and implications of the vote. Most of the contributors agreed that the entire process was fatally flawed, but only a few made concrete proposals on the way forward. Professor John Mukum Mbaku of Utah State University in the USA was one of ...

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II. On The Anglophone Problem

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pp. 47-64

One of the perennial topics of discussion on Camnet was the issue of the status of the Anglophone minority in Cameroon. Although the Anglophones and Francophones on the forum tended to have similar views on most of the pertinent issues and often cooperated on a variety of projects initiated on Camnet, one area on which they ...

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III. On “Character” Vs “Institutions”

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pp. 65-90

In our efforts to build a strong, stable, responsible and responsive leaders with “good character” or should we place the emphasis on building viable “institutions” that can withstand the test of time? This debate had solid support from thoughtful persons making insightful contributions backed by sound logic and concrete experience. At the ...

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IV. On Political Violence

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pp. 91-112

For some Cameroonians who were beginning to despair about the possibility of achieving a peaceful transfer of power from an autocratic or dictatorial régime to a democratic dispensation, the idea of an armed insurrection appeared quite appealing by the late 1990s...

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V. On Freedom of Expression in Cameroon

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pp. 113-132

By the late 1990s, even as the use of the Internet as a means of communication became more widespread alongside the proliferation of media outlets, the Cameroon Government still appeared intent on maintaining a deathly grip on the dissemination of information...

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VI. On International Affairs

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pp. 133-158

Camnet participants sometimes had the opportunity to conduct discussions on matters such as Cameroon’s relations with other countries or even matters totally unrelated to Cameroon. I often found that due to my background as a specialist in international relations, I was in a position to shed some light on key issues...

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VII. On General Information about Cameroon

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pp. 159-184

The e-mail messages contained in this section of the book deal with a variety of topics that do not fall neatly into any of the other categories discussed in the previous chapters. These range from topics such as the names of Cameroonian cities to the country’s educational system or football. As one who strongly believes in the...

Back Cover

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p. 198-198


E-ISBN-13: 9789956728190
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956728282

Page Count: 198
Publication Year: 2013