By Stephen Njumbe Sako
The twenty-first batch of students of the Cameroon Opportunities Industrialization Centre - COIC - Buea have been called upon to be good ambassadors of the institution. The call was made on Thursday, December 8, 2011 by the Secretary General to the Governor of the Southwest Region Mr Handeson Ketong during the graduation ceremony. "Be true ambassadors of your institution and create jobs rather than remain perpetual job seekers,"he stressed. According to Mr Ketong, the COIC is very instrumental in the country as its objectives are geared towards the policy of Greater Realisation of the Head of State, President Paul Biya, which is that of creating employment and reducing poverty in a programme of actions to make Cameroon an emerging economy by 2035.
Mr Ketong also stressed that the government of Cameroon will not relent in her important endeavour to support and uplift institutions such as the OIC which happens to be one of the few international organizations based in the country that receive subvention from the government.
The COIC is a national non-profit centre of employment and training programs established with a mission: to help the disadvantaged realize their true potential, by cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.
According to the Board chair of COIC, Barrister Sam Elad Ekontang, the management of the institution is satisfied that is has completed the task placed before them in graduating hundreds of students. "We are confident and satisfied that we have given the graduating trainees the skills we promised when they enrolled. They have gained skills at an important time in the life of the country and we therefore expect them to be creative and not job seekers,"Barrister Elad remarked.
The Board chair further added that the trainees are also graduating at a time when there are numerous opportunities in Cameroon's job market. "The opportunities include the fact that several enterprises are coming into the country. The Koreans are going to build a school in Moliwe which will admit about 2000, there are plans to build shipyards both in Limbe and in Kribi and there are constant renovations being done on the Chad-Cameroon Oil pipeline," he said.
Created in Cameroon in 1986 through a tripartite OIC International, the institution has trained about 16.000 trainees. Of this number, about 11.000 are job-placed and more than 3.000 have created their own enterprises.
The OIC International was founded by the late Rev. Dr Leon Sullivan with Headquarters in Philadelphia, USA. Rev. Sullivan believed that jobs were the key to the economic development and true empowerment of African Americans rather than a dependence upon public assistance, and founded the very first OIC training center in 1964 in an abandoned jailhouse in North Philadelphia.
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