The main building is not the one that burnt down. Indeed, the Yaoundé Congress Centre has two main entrances. One reached from the Fair Square side (Tsinga, for those who know the Capital), giving access to two large enclosures made of temporary materials (wooden and steel beams and covered with a plastic canvas). It was one of these rooms (Hall A) that got burnt this morning, October 25, 2018, and not the main building of the Congress Centre.
The fire started around 8 a.m. in Hall A following a short circuit, we learnt. The incident occurred on the ending day of the Promotion of French Studies Fair (Sapef) which started two days ago. Exhibitors were asked to evacuate the site.
As soon as possible, firemen and cops nearby (Bastos and Etoudi neighbourhood posts) came forward. No loss of human life was reported.
Nevertheless, a large part of exposed material was burnt down. “These include plasma screens, air conditioning devices, entertainment consoles and advertising devices,” said Nsileni Mbome, a representative of a Moroccan university in Cameroon. The latter regretted that the Sapef ended that way. The exhibitors, invited by Campus France, came from Morocco, France, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire.
Monique Ngo Mayag