From October 26 to 28, 2022, the seminar on the cultural policies of decentralized local authorities was held in Douala, organized by the Urban Community of Douala, represented by the Mayor of the city Mr. Roger MBASSA NDINE, in partnership with the University of Douala and a CUD working group composed of: - Mr. René EJENGUELE MBAPPOU, Chief of Staff of the Mayor of the City: President of the Group. - Mr. Henri MANGA, Project Manager for Cultural Affairs: Vice-President of the group. - Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Cadastre and Land Affairs. - Mr. Jean-Jacques KOTTO, Director of ESSACA. - Mr. Alain NTONGO ETONDE, journalist photographer. - Mr. Henri KINGUE EDJENGUELE, Director of Culture, Tourism, Antisocial Affairs, Youth and Sports. - Mrs. Annie NANA Brigitte, Director of Planning, Development and Mobility. - Mr. Marcelin NDOUMBE, Deputy Director of the Land and Land Administration. - Mr. Guillaume MOUKETE EKOUME, Head of the Legal Affairs and Litigation Division.
Several themes were discussed during this seminar, namely: - Urban route in the Bonendale and Djebale districts. - Delimit the heritage to be preserved: What are we preserving? For what ? What criteria should be established to delimit the urban heritage of Douala? - Legal framework for the cultural sub-sector in Cameroon. - Safeguarding and promoting urban architectural heritage, the example of Bordeaux Métropole. - International cultural cooperation and partnerships between cities and local authorities within the framework of decentralized cooperation. - Legal framework and land issues. - Finance heritage preservation. - Communication issues: Involvement of residents and tourism promotion. These themes generally focused on the preservation and valorization of the heritage of the Urban Community of Douala, where it was a question of reflecting on the areas of work which should help to understand how to valorize the heritage of the city of Douala. Which gave rise to an observation at the end of the work: Establish an architectural heritage which testifies to the history of the nation, define the strategic issues and recommendations to be communicated to the Urban Community of Douala, as well as the proposals and opportunities concrete actions in the short term in order to show and promote this heritage to the population of Douala.
Concerning the Bordeaux Métropole heritage expertise mission which took place during this same period under the supervision of Mrs. Anne-Laure MONIOT (Head of the urban heritage project department within the Urban Planning and Landscapes Department of Bordeaux Métropole), it is part of the approach of the working group with the theme “Preservation and enhancement of the urban architectural heritage of the city of Douala” in collaboration with ESSACA represented by its Director General Mr Jean-Jacques KOTTO and the The student MANGA MBELE Joseph, who it should be noted, was returning from the internship he did in Bordeaux for 6 months, in which he had to work on the theme of heritage under the direction of Ms. MONIOT.
The objectives of this mission were to: - Participate in the seminar organized by the CUD on “The cultural policies of cities and local authorities”; - Support the CUD in the identification of tools allowing the production of a heritage inventory; - Contribute to the CUD's reflections on the implementation of actions to preserve urban heritage based on thematic working sessions (land, legal, financing, communication, etc.) and field visits; - Share Bordeaux Métropole's experience in this area. These workshops were marked: - By a descent and visit to the places in particular to the island of Djebale passing through the village Bonendale with the aim of knowing the history and showing certain riches of the city of Douala. - Working sessions with the aim of highlighting the criteria on which a building should be identified as heritage of the city of Douala, which gave rise to an observation: Establish an architectural heritage which testifies to the history of the nation in the current context, define the strategic issues and recommendations to be communicated to the CUD as well as the proposals and concrete opportunities in the short term in order to show and promote this heritage to the population of Douala. At the end of the Seminar, Mr. Jean Jacques KOTTO received a visit from members of the Bordeaux Métropole Mission and those of the Douala Urban Community in the premises of Douala Ville Labo, to immerse himself in the different activities and the contribution of this laboratory with the various decentralized local authorities of the city of Douala.