camernews-us-amb-michael-hoza

New U.S. Ambassador Promises to Address ‘Endemic Corruption’

New U.S. Ambassador Promises to Address ‘Endemic Corruption’

Michael Stephen Hoza, the new United States’ Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon had unveiled his vision for Cameroon long before his appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 29, 2014. According to U.S. law, all ambassadors appointed by the president must appear before the Senate to present their vision for the country where they are to assume duty. The Senate can then validate or invalidate the appointment. It is in this regard that appearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 24 last year, Hoza told the committee that Cameroon is a relatively stable country in a region that is less so. Recent events in both Nigeria and the Central African Republic continue to spill over into Cameroon, where an influx of new refugees is taxing local resources. The insecurity in neighboring countries, compounded with the growing threat of extremism by Boko Haram in Cameroon’s Far North region, Hoza continued, has the potential to threaten Cameroon’s security and stability. He added that Cameroon has taken a leading role in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and is active in regional and domestic efforts against wildlife trafficking. “If confirmed (as U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon), I will continue to support U.S. efforts to strengthen Cameroon’s military capacity to confront terrorism, piracy and wildlife trafficking and to encourage greater Cameroonian engagement in regional security matters,” assured the now confirmed Ambassador who replaces Robert P. Jackson. The kidnapping of French expatriates in Cameroon’s Far North region earlier last year, Hoza said, demonstrated that even in a seemingly stable and safe country such as Cameroon, the threat of violence and extremism can be a reality. “It has also reaffirmed that, now more than ever, the safety and security of our American staff and citizens overseas needs to be at the forefront of our mission. If confirmed, I will ensure that this remains a top priority for the embassy,” Hoza pledged. Moreover, he told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that concerns related to human rights, weak governance, and pervasive corruption continue to serve as impediments to meaningful economic growth and development; the more reason he promised to strengthen economic relationships. It should be recalled that bilateral trade between U.S. and Cameroon exceeded $557 million in 2012, and U.S. exports to Cameroon have more than doubled since 2010. Should I be confirmed, Hoza said, “I hope to build on these gains and further strengthen our economic relationship– one of the cornerstones of U.S.-Cameroon ties.” Achieving this goal, as well as Cameroon’s goal of promoting increased U.S. investment in Cameroon, Hoza believes will require “continued attention to improving the country’s business climate, addressing endemic corruption, and improving transparency.”

 

camernews-us-amb-michael-hoza

camernews-us-amb-michael-hoza