By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh of the US-based NDI has been awarded the Herald Tribune’s Man of the Year Award. The distinction was made recently in Yaounde during the Herald Tribune’s 10th Anniversary Award Night based on his philanthropic works and generosity.
This is the second time Dr Christopher Fomunyoh is winning this award after picking up a similar one in 2015. That time, he was voted Man of the Year by the Guardian post in 2015.
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, who founded the Fomunyoh Foundation more than sixteen years ago in Bamenda, has continued to help Cameroonians across the board. This help has greatly been stepped up with the ongoing crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon currently facing violence with many now internally displaced and others have lost their source of livelihoods.
The support to humanitarian causes and democratisation in Cameroon and across the African continent is indelible with many less privileged persons, orphans, and widows who have all benefited from him and his Foundation’s donations.
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh in partnership with the Community Refugee Relief Initiative back in April undertook a visit to displaced persons from Cameroon in Nigeria. The team visited refugee camps in Cross River State, Benue State and those living in Abuja community and at every stop heard the perilous ordeals these displaced persons have been going through.
Some twelve camps were visited and at every point were offered food and non-food items. To Dr Fomunyoh, these persons are leaving in a “precarious state of pain” and many were receiving their first humanitarian aid since March 2020.
“I have seen first-hand the precarious state of pains, sufferings and as one of the settlers said, tell our brothers and sisters not to forget us. We are dying in silence,” Dr Fomunyoh said after carrying out the 10-days visitation back in April.
The Fomunyoh Foundation has also carried out various humanitarian donations in the past couple of weeks. The Foundation has provided food and non-food items to Orphanages in Buea, Wotutu and over the weekend was in Limbe for a similar donation exercise.
Dr Christopher Fomunyoh who holds a PhD in Political Science from Boston University is currently the Senior Associate and Regional Director of Central and West Africa at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) based in Washington, USA.
The adjunct professor of African politics and government at Georgetown University is one of the few personalities who continue to call for an end to the ongoing violence in the country. On numerous outings, he has stated that the violence in Cameroon has not improved.
“In the North West and South West Regions, it is nothing short of an atrocity situation, consisting of widespread and systematic crimes against humanity against the civilian population and serious violations of international humanitarian law or the laws of war against civilians as protected persons, amounting to war crimes,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh said back in May.
“Since 2019 the official deaths in this conflict has stayed unbelievable at 3,000, whereas we know that people are being killed daily and even since January 2021, more than 60 people have already been killed. Yet, on all official report, you see it refers to 3,000 deaths. The data on this crisis is underreported due to so many factors (blackouts in the country and the difficulties faced by humanitarian organizations).”
“There has been a bad faith of the Francophone majority to assimilate the Anglophone minority into the Francophone majority. Since 1969 Cameroon has had just two presidents, all Francophone and there has been dissatisfaction on the part of Anglophone,” Dr Christopher Fomunyoh, adjunct professor of African politics and government at Georgetown University said in his opening remarks at Canada’s Sub-Committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
More on the Fomunyoh Foundation
The Fomunyoh Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 by Dr Christopher Fomunyoh and a dedicated group of philanthropists and advocates in the international democratic community.
It partners with philanthropists and democratic and human rights constituencies within Cameroon, as well as internationally, to improve the well-being of people and strengthen institutions and human rights in Cameroon.