For nearly two hours, greatly exceeding the initial schedule, Presidents Paul BIYA and Emmanuel MACRON reviewed the news in Cameroon and France, and reviewed the events that are shaking the international scene. From this exchange, there emerged a broad convergence of views between the two leaders, as evidenced by their respective opening remarks during the press conference that followed.
Speaking first, President BIYA said he was particularly happy to welcome President Emmanuel MACRON to Cameroon. He noted that this visit, taking place at the beginning of President MACRON’s second term, “bears witness to the high quality and solidity of the old relations that unite our two countries”. With regard to their meetings, the Head of State affirmed that they reinforced their “determination to work tirelessly to ensure the functioning of this fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship”. President BIYA said he expressed to President Macron his satisfaction for the multifaceted support that France provides to Cameroon at the security level, particularly in the fight against terrorism, as well as at the economic and financial level. The two Heads of State agreed to continue their efforts in the areas of agriculture, industry and infrastructure, training and local development.
Following his counterpart, President MACRON gave the reasons for his trip to Cameroon: the depth of the Franco-Cameroonian relationship and the exceptional nature of the friendship between our two countries; the place of Cameroon as a strategic partner of France in Central Africa, a region to which it “wishes to devote more time during this second five-year term”.
Emmanuel MACRON promised to raise France’s support for Cameroon to an even higher level, especially in terms of economic development. Moreover, he said he admired the talents of Cameroonian youth in all areas. It is about helping these young people succeed, he concluded.
After these introductory remarks, the two Heads of State answered questions from journalists.
The French press notably returned to the question of political alternation in Cameroon in 2025. President BIYA’s response was clear and blunt: “As you know, Cameroon is governed in accordance with its Constitution. And according to this Constitution, the mandate that I lead has a duration of seven years. So try to subtract: 7-4 or 3, and you will know how much time I have left to lead the country. But, otherwise, it will be known; when this term expires, you will be informed whether I am staying or going to the village. »
To another question put to him, the Head of State expanded on the contours of the new military cooperation agreement with Russia. It is quite simply the renewal of an old convention existing between two friendly countries which maintain relations of trust in matters of defense and security. Similar treaties exist with many other countries in Europe or elsewhere.
The French Head of State, for his part, explained what the Cameroonian press perceives as discriminatory treatment of Africa compared to Ukraine, in France’s support for the countries in economic or security difficulty, on his public statements in the face of the questioning of Cameroonian activists from the diaspora concerning the march of democracy and respect for human rights in Cameroon, and finally, on the need for France to take responsibility for the crimes committed by the French army during the war of liberation in Cameroon. To all these questions, President MACRON has provided enlightening answers. With particular regard to the question of memory, he announced the establishment of a multidisciplinary commission between France and Cameroon to shed light on this painful episode in our common history.
This exchange with the press took place in the presence of the First Lady, Mrs. Chantal BIYA, attentive and captivated.