China-funded vocational school boosts technical, agricultural training in Cameroon

Students and their teacher attend a practical lesson in a tractor workshop at Yabassi Technical and Professional Agricultural High School in Yabassi, Cameroon, Jan. 12, 2023. (Photo by Kepseu/Xinhua)

Growing up in a predominantly agrarian community in Cameroon, Junior Moudina fell in love with agriculture as a child but lacked the skills. This situation changed when China constructed a technical and professional agricultural high school in his native town of Yabassi to provide training in agriculture for students.

YAOUNDE, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Growing up in a predominantly agrarian community in Cameroon, Junior Moudina fell in love with agriculture as a child but lacked the skills. This situation changed when China constructed a technical and professional agricultural high school in his native town of Yabassi to provide training in agriculture for students.

When the school went operational in 2017, the 23-year-old was among the first batch of over 200 students to enroll. He had one objective. “I would like to be one of the first to modernize agriculture in Cameroon,” Moudina said in a recent interview with Xinhua in the school.

“The Chinese did a good job because it’s thanks to them that we have this training, and it’s also thanks to them that we see certain equipment that I have never seen since birth,” he added.

JEWEL IN THE JUNGLE

For all intents and purposes, Yabassi Technical and Professional Agricultural High School is an ultra-modern infrastructure. Located in Yabassi, Nkam division of the Littoral region, the school looks like a jewel in the jungle from a distance. It is the pioneer professional agricultural high school in the central African nation.

“The school has changed the physiognomy of Yabassi. When you arrive in Yabassi, what first catches your attention is the beautiful structure of the school, which is (a fruit of) cooperation between Cameroon and China,” said Jean Mirabeau Eba, mayor of Yabassi Council.

It is constructed over four hectares of land and boasts 78 hectares used as practicing farms. The school comprises administrative offices, classrooms, workshops, a refectory, a multimedia center, laboratories, dormitories, recreational facilities, and logistic equipment consisting of tractors, excavators, automobile engine training platforms, and incubators for chickens and boilers.

It offers courses in crop and animal production, maintenance of agricultural equipment and processing and conservation of agricultural products.

Overall, Yabassi Technical and Professional Agricultural High School is among the most excelling schools in the country, said Louis David Njenjock Bang, principal of the school. “Since the school was created, we always rank first in official exams of technical schools in the country.”

RESOUNDING IMPACT

Agriculture is the mainstay of Cameroon’s economy, engaging an estimated 70 percent of the economically active population and accounting for an estimated 80 percent of the primary sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Cameroon aims to become an emerging nation in 2035 and is counting on agriculture to provide jobs and food for the population. The school helps foster the much-needed skilled workforce, said Bang.

Yabassi Technical and Professional Agricultural High School

“In almost all (agricultural) firms (in Cameroon), very few workers have been trained professionally. We train agronomists and offer them (firms) trained professionals,” Bang said.

Since its inception, over 500 students have graduated from the school. One of them is Timothee Le Vainqueur Dissionbi.

In the Njombe locality, dozens of miles from Yabassi, Dissionbi works in a plantation company. He said the training he received in the school helped propel his integration into the company where he occupies a position of checking and confirming the quality of products.

“I feel at ease in my current position,” the 20-year-old said. “I wish to thank the Chinese for constructing and equipping the school.”

“Our graduates easily find jobs with good salaries,” said Bang.

GOOD CAREER PROSPECTS

Moudina hopes to graduate this year and is already excited about what awaits him after graduation. “I used to think you can only get rich by working with the government. After studying here, I realized I can become my own boss, do my own things and realize my dream in agriculture.”

Monthe Memba, on her part, has a more holistic dream. She was one of the students who were watering crops when Xinhua visited the practicing farm of the school.

“Thanks to this training, we can change the world. Unemployed people can find employment in agriculture. We can create agricultural enterprises to provide jobs to young Cameroonians,” said the 19-year-old.

Such ambitions by the students are valid, but training needs to be intensified “for excellent results,” said Bang.

“It is important that our teachers who benefitted from the Chinese equipment are trained on how to use the equipment,” he said.  ?

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3 comments

  1. Allergic to Ignorance

    Unfortunately this is like two steps forward and two steps backward. Well they are training you to their modern techniques of cultivating while simultaneously making us depending on their machines therefore on their industries. You already have all the techniques you need at home. Our job is the perfect what we know that way we can create industries out of thin air. Think about this what happened if those Chinese machines break down?? Who will benefit from those parts?

    • Allergic to ignorance,,,,,it is easy to sense that you do not master the notion of economic war,not to talk of how countries go from agriculture base economies to induistrial economies.everything reside in the following word STRATEGY.it is a combination of ways thought written and implemented with the objective to catch up with the most advance economies in manufacturing science and technology.let us take the case of cameroon to make our case.you said we would depend on thier machines and so industries.the question is,what is our strategy?seen from my corn farm our strategy should be designed to massively import thier machines to mechanise agriculture and build basic industries like cloothing,food wear and processing of agriculture products.

      • this is step one of our strategy,at this stage a deal can be signed to import machine parts all build in china and assembled in our industrial zones.the main objective at this stage is export promotion drawing in hard currency used to import more effecient manufacturing machines to upgrade production capabilities.
        once a solid basic industrial sector is build,then step two.at this stage money accumulated from basic industry will be invested in building petro chemical complex,steel mills,state of the art ceramic factories.it is from the steel industry that car,machine and rail way manufacturting industries will emerge.being capital intensive more sophisticated machines will have to be imported to continue upgrading manufacturing capabilities.this is a small example.