Cameroon is known worldwide as a sport loving country, with well-known sports icons like Roger Milla, Samuel Eto’o, Francoise Mbango, amongst others. The Football national team has earned international respect and recognition after the heroic performance at the 1990 world cup in Italy, where they played the quarter finals.
It is against this backdrop that the sixth International day of sport for development and peace was celebrated for the first time in Cameroon between 4 and 7 April 2019 in Yaounde through a series of activities, launched during an official ceremony at the Yaoundé multipurpose sports complex. This day instituted by the United Nations in 2013, recognizes the power of sports in promoting peace and wiping away cultural barriers worldwide and promotes healthy lifestyles.
The series of events were launched by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute. Speaking during the official ceremony,
Ms. Allegra Baiocchi; UN Resident Coordinator stated that “Sport can be a powerful tool to promote peace and tolerance by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures & religions.” While PM Dion Ngute emphasised that ‘sport is a factor of National Unity in Cameroon’.
UN Stand at the Sports Village
A sports village was set up whereby government, partners, sports federation, NGOs and International Organisations exhibited documents, products, and sports wears to showcase their expertise, works and activities and also present available opportunities for the general public on efforts done for sports and peace.
UNIC prepared and animated the One UN Stand at the village, exhibiting documents by UN agencies in sports and peace related issues; violent extremism and social cohesion. These were distributed alongside flyers to curious visitors, whose numerous questions on the UN system were equally answered. Communications focal points from UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, UNWOMEN were present, under the lead of UNIC.
Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute led government officials, UN and other guests to the UN stand where he was received by UNIC’s NIO, Jean Njita. Not only was PM Ngute presented with actions and efforts done by the UN System towards Sports for Peace and Development, he also committed to achieving the SDG with the SDG ring and was offered a gift bag composed of SDG gadgets and documents.