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Actualités

IAEA REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON RADIOLOGICAL CRIME SCENE MANAGEMENT

The IAEA held a regional workshop on radiological crime scene management at the Mont Febe Hotel from 8 to 12 July 2024.

The regional workshop on radiological crime scene management began on Monday 8 July 2024 at the Mont Febe Hotel. The Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, who was unavoidably absent, was represented at the opening ceremony by the Secretary General of the same ministry, Prof. Rerbecca EBELLE ETAME.   The 5 day workshop was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the Government of Cameroon through the National Radiation Protection Agency (ANRP).  Participants from four countries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic) were enlightened on procedures and techniques to deal with crime scenes involving nuclear and radioactive materials.

These radiological crime scenes require specific procedures and operations, such as taking into account the time spent in the controlled zone, the distance between radionuclide-contaminated evidence, the experts who collect the evidence and their radiological protection etc. However, Cameroon and many other African countries do not have the expertise required for nuclear safety.  As a result, they often turn to foreign experts.  This was the case for Cameroon during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Based on this observation, the workshop on radiological crime scene management was approved by the Government of Cameroon. In her opening address, the Secretary General of MINRESI noted that “the growing prevalence of terrorist acts, which spare no country in the world and which make use of sophisticated technologies, calls for great vigilance by security forces.  It has been established that certain terrorist organizations can obtain radioactive or nuclear materials to manufacture radiological dispersal devices in order to spread radioactive contamination in a targeted area,which will result in human, material and environmental damage”.   

Through this workshop, the IAEA, which is committed to helping States develop nuclear forensics, provided participants with technical tools to enable them intervene efficiently while dealing with radioactive materials. 

©Celtrad/MINRESI

SCIENTIFIC CONVOCATION 11TH EDITION: COOPERATION AS A STRATEGIC TOOL FOR DEVELOPMENT

The 11th edition of the Scientific Convocation was held on March 21, 2024 at the campus of the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM). The event was chaired by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, flanked by the Secretary General, central administration officials and the Directors General of institutes supervised by MINRESI. This year’s theme was “Scientific and Technical Cooperation as a Strategic Tool for Cameroon’s Socio-Economic Development”.

The Scientific Convocation was instituted in 2013 by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI), and has now become one of its major events. The idea behind this event is to enhance and celebrate research as a profession. Just as in previous editions, researchers from the 8 MINRESI-supervised institutes turned out in their numbers this year. They were grouped according to their grades as follows: Research Assistants, Research Officers, Senior Research Officers, Chief research officers who participated in the grand parade. This was followed by an official ceremony featuring the inaugural lecture and scientific honours.

Inaugural lecture

The inaugural lecture of this 11th edition was delivered by Dr BEYALA ATEBA Jean Félix, Senior Research Officer at the National Radiation Protection Agency (ANRP), on the theme: “Scientific and Technical Cooperation as a Strategic Tool for Cameroon’s Socio-Economic Development”. He explained that scientific thinking is an open-access resource that can be harnessed to obtain high-value products. Such thoughts are the basis for cooperation, especially scientific and technical cooperation.

Dr BEYALA lauded various results obtained by MINRESI- supervised institutes thanks to the scientific and technical cooperation between Cameroon and several countries and institutions around the world. Lastly, he pointed out the disadvantages of this scientific cooperation, namely: brain drain, risks associated with foreign funded cooperation, and free access to strategic data on national resources.

Scientific honours

This year’s edition featured an eminent researcher who was celebrated and honoured as the Scientific Convocation tradition demands. The honouree was Dr NDI Christopher, Chief Research Officer, born on 27 August 1954 in Bambui, Bamenda. He was recruited as a Research Assistant on 5 September 1985 at the then Zootechnical Research Institute (IRZ) and posted to the WakwaZootechnical Research Centre near Ngaoundéré in the Adamawa Region. He was upgraded to Research Officer in 1993 and to Senior Research Officer in 1997 and eventually became Chief Research Officer in 2006.

His extensive experience on animal research led to his appointment as National Scientific Coordinator for Animal and Fisheries Production at the head office of the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Yaounde from 2006 to 2012.

In his capacity as an international consultant on animal health/animal production since 2011, he has also participated in several capacity-building training workshops sponsored at national and international levels by theFAO, AfDB, the World Bank, the African Union Commission and many other funding agencies. His main research areas of interest have been animal health, animal production and livestock breeding.

He was awarded a scientific role of honour by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation in recognition of his significant contribution towards furthering science in general and developing national research in particular.

Furthermore, the Minister paid tribute to two internationally recognised researchers. These included two ladies: Dr FANTA YADAM Sabine and Ms HADIDJATOU DAIROU who received the l’OREAL-UNESCO 2023 International Prize. Both researchers were recognised for their research on the use of medicinal plants in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

This event was punctuated by the presence of several special guests of the Minister, flanked by central administrative officials from the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation. Heads of MINRESI-supervised Institutes and Regional Centres for Research and Innovation (CRRI) also took part in the event. 

 ©Celtrad/MINRESI

INAUGURATION OF THE IRAD-BAYANGAM ANTENNA

The IRAD-Bayangam antenna was inaugurated on 15 March 2024 by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE. Female farmers were given gifts of agricultural equipment during the event.

On 15 March 2024, the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, inaugurated the Bayangam antenna of the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD). Important administrative and political figures from the Koung-Khi Division as well as the Governor of the West Region attended the ceremony. Traditional chiefs attended the ceremony and gave their blessings, reflecting the importance of this new antenna to the local population, who turned out in large numbers.

IRAD Bayangam: Cameroon’s Irish potato bed of roses

The IRAD Bayangam Antenna, specialised in Irish potato production, provides great opportunities, not just for employment, but also for supplying the sub-region with this highly sought-after crop in the agri-food industry. Speaking at the event, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE thanked the Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA, for having made this project possible.

The decision to carry out the potato project in Bayangam was based on scientific parameters which were outlined by the IITA Resident Representative in Cameroon and the Director General of IRAD in their respective speeches. The high altitude required to grow quality Irish potatoes is one of the reasons for this choice. The IRAD Bayangam antenna, which is affiliated to the IRAD-Bagangte station, is the result of a drive towards specialisation based on the environmental characteristics of Cameroon’s agro-ecological zones. Prior to its inauguration, IRAD organised a training session for trainers.

Award of certificates and gifts to female farmers

As part of activities to inaugurate the IRAD-Bayangam antenna, 250 women and some thirty associations were awarded certificates and donated seeds as well as farming tools. These were women who had taken part in a training course conducted by IRAD researchers on 6 March 2024 in Bandjoun.

The training focused on the production and processing chain for various crops, including tomatoes, Irish potatoes and maize. Emphasis was placed on preservation techniques for products derived from these crops.

This donation was Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE’s way of supporting women’s associations in their farming activities. These tools were provided to complement the training they had undergone. The tools, it is hoped, will build their capacity and increase production. Moreover, a special gift from the First Lady, Madame Chantal BIYA, was handed over to the peasant community through the D.O. of Koung-Khi.

©Celtrad/MINRESI

39TH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: MINRESI WOMEN’S CHARITABLE DONATION TO THE AGED

On Tuesday 5 March 2024, women from the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation presented gifts to the grey-haired inmates of the Béthanie VIACAM retirement home.

In preparation for the 39th celebration of the International Women’s Day, MINRESI women carried out social activities under the supervision of theMinister, Dr. Madeleine TCHUINTE. In this connection, they handed gifts to the BETHANIE VIACAM retirement home in the Yaounde- Nkolmesseng neighbourhood on Tuesday 5 March.

The Béthanie VIACAM Centre (for disabled and abandoned grey-haired people in Cameroon) was founded in 1981 by Sister Gertrude Julienne AVOUZOA, sensitive to the difficulties faced by the elderly. It is one of the few institutions that takes care of the elderly in Cameroon. Since the death of its founder in 2016, the Béthanie VIACAM centre has relied exclusively on donations from do-gooders.

The MINRESI delegation, led by the Secretary General, Prof EBELLE ETAME Rebecca, was welcomed at the centre by its residents, their two housekeepers and Abbé MBALLA EFFA, representative of the centre’s Director. They were hosted in the centre’s tiny chapel.

The prelate’s sermon focused on one of the three pillars of the lent season, namely “sharing”. He saluted the visit of the women from MINRESI, which is a perfect example of sharing according to the Gospel. Speaking on behalf of the lucky beneficiaries, he thanked the Minister and all the women who had made the trip. Apart from the gifts in kind, they had shown love and provided warmth, which the residents lack most.

In her turn, the Secretary General of MINRESI recalled that the Minister, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, is very sensitive to human suffering in general and to that of the elderly in particular. She pointed out that old age is a blessing and warmly comforted the inmates. Having handed the gifts, the “Amazons of MINRESI ” had a warm chat with all the fourteen inmates of the centre. Their spokeswoman, fondly called “Princess”, thanked the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation in particular for her special gifts. She also expressed her gratitude to all MINRESI women, appealing to them that they must not compete with men, but rather they must courageously support and tirelessly work in developing their families and our country.

The two-hour visit ended in jubilation, amid singing and dancing. Memorable photo shots were captured and archived in the “Amazons of MINRESI “collection, bearing witness to the imperative need to “invest in women”.

©Celtrad/MINRESI

39TH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: A CAPACITY-BUILDING CONFERENCE FOR MINRESI WOMEN

As part of activities organised for the 39th International Women’s Day, a conference was held on Monday 4 March 2024 at the MINRESI conference room. It focused on the theme: “Women and nutrition for a healthy family”.

A number of activities have been organised by various administrative bodies since the official launch of the 39th International Women’s Day in Akono by the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family.

At MINRESI, Dr Madeleine TCHIUINTE, launched a series of activities on 1 March. These activities included a scientific conference held on Monday 4 March on the theme of “Women and nutrition for a healthy family”. The conference, chaired by Prof. NGONKEU Eddy Leonard, was moderated by the Secretary General, Prof. EBELLE ETAME Rebecca and attended by women from the central administration and MINRESI’s technically supervised institutes.

The aim of the conference was to raise women’s awareness on best food preservation and storage practices in order to avoid mould, which, according to the speaker of the day, is a public health problem in our country.

Professor NGONKEU also enlightened them on the importance of ones choice of food with regards to their blood group. He demonstrated that diet is closely linked to blood type.  People with different blood types cannot eat the same foods. Not all blood groups develop the same food tolerance. For example, people of blood group A should eat mainly fruit and vegetables.  Those with blood group B should prioritize dairy products.  People with blood group AB can adopt a diet plan containing foods adapted to groups A and B. Group O does not tolerate dairy products or cereals.  This blood type diet, based on a theory developed by Dr Peter Adamo, was explained to the women to consider it and ensure their family’s nutritional well-being. 
After the conference, the women received training on how to make certain beauty products.

©Celtrad/MINRESI

A DELEGATION FROM THE AFRICAN UNION OF BROADCASTING UNION (AUB) MEETS WITH THE MINISTER OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

A delegation of journalists from the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) was received in audience by the Minister, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, as a prelude to the organization of the Pan-African International Conference on African Audio-visual Media and Artificial Intelligence.

The Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr Madeleine TCHUINTE, received a delegation from the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) in audience on Monday 22 January 2024 at 11:30 am.  The delegation of 3 journalists was led by AUB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. NDJAKA Grégoire. Discussions focused on the importance of scientific information and the need to train journalists specializing in science.  The delegation informed the Minister of the organization of the Pan-African International Conference on African Audio-visual Media and Artificial Intelligence, to be held in Yaounde from 4 to 6 March 2024.  AUB’s initiative was welcomed by the Minister, who places great importance on the dissemination of research results.  MINRESI is fully committed to the development of Artificial Intelligence in Cameroon. It is with this in mind that, under its supervision, five (5) start-ups have been selected to receive funding from the French Embassy as part of the Startup237 project.

It was in light of these that the Minister instructed the Permanent Secretary of the National Committee for Technology Development (CNDT) to support AUB with expertise from his institute.  Following the audience, CNDT and AUB officials held a restricted working session.

©Celtrad/MINRESI

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