The National Day of Cameroon is celebrated every year on the 20th of May. Cameroon does not have a single date of independence. This day commemorates the ending of the federal government of erstwhile Cameroon and the creation of a unitary state by Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first ever President of Cameroon. Cameroon National Day Celebrations
On National Day parades are held with participation by the public officers. Party loyalists also take part in the festivities, dressed in commemorative clothing and party insignia. Dance troupes and school children also take part in the programs.
The students union of Cameroon stage Annual National Week programs. These are basically awareness programs. Several other important events are also held on this day across Cameroon such as socio-educative discussions, civilian marches, torchlight processions, and unity tournaments.
The unity tournaments feature cultural activities and sports events that help with national unity. Football, goal ball, volleyball, and cross country unity races are held as part of these tournaments. The event is celebrated in an ornate way at the Cameroonian embassies in different countries.
The celebrations are attended by diplomatic officers and government officers along with other high-profile guests like businessmen. The Embassies also organize programs at schools and other important institutions. Official dinners are held to mark the most important day in Cameroon’s history.
The dinners feature the best dishes from both Cameroon and the particular country. The cultural splendor of both countries is also highlighted by fashion shows that feature traditional attire.
The national anthem of Cameroon is always performed at these events by members of the Cameroonian community in that particular country. Consequently, speeches are given by the Cameroonian ambassador emphasizing the relations Cameroon shares with the country in question.
Cameroon National Day History
French Cameroun, which was a United Nations Trust Territory, gained its independence on 1st January 1960. On 1st October 1961 the Southern Cameroons, which were held by the British, became a federated state with Cameroon from a Trusteeship administered by the British.
The national government opted to choose 20th May as the National Day in order to mark the abolition of the federal government system and the formation of a unitary state by the first President of Cameroon, Ahmadou Ahidjo.
In 1972 the Union Nationale Camerounaise, led by Ahmadou Ahidjo, adopted the constitution of the United Republic of Cameroon. The constitution was later amended under Paul Biya’s leadership and Cameroon received its present name.
Challenges before Cameroon
In recent times there have been tensions in Cameroon over two English-speaking provinces in the southern region. The Southern Cameroon National Council, which is essentially a secessionist movement, came to prominence during the 1990s. The movement has been declared illegal though. The budget deficit has been a major issue for Cameroon as well.