The controversy continues unabated at the moment on the appropriateness of a scientific conference on the social work of the First Lady, Chantal Biya, that the University of Yaoundé II is organising from 1st to 3rd November 2016 at Soa, but also on the title of “Doctor” which will be conferred on her at the end of the symposium.
Under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Philémon Yang, the conference on the theme: “Fundamental rights and policies of solidarity through the prism of social work of the First Lady of Cameroon” will effectively confer a doctorate on the wife of the Head of State. But there is a nuance: this will be a “Doctorate Honoris Causa”.
According to Mathias Eric Owona Nguini, political scientist and speaker at this conference, it is about an honorary title awarded by a university or a faculty to an eminent personality. The academic asks himself why “Critics without much weight” say nothing each time an international personality is made Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Yaoundé II - Soa (a Secretary General of the United Nations of Ghanaian origin (Kofi Annan), a Secretary General of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (Michaelle Jean), an Italian president, etc.
“They complain loudly because it concerns Madame Chantal Biya!”, he wonders. Before concluding: “This is forgetting that she already has an honorary distinction as a UNESCO Goodwill ambassador. It is to forget that the University of Yaoundé II-Soa has its own institutional communication and marketing policy. It is to forget that this University is free and sovereign in its method of appointment for the titles of Doctor Honoris Causa!”