By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
Private media in Cameroon have received a sum of FCFA 119 million as State Aid. The amount was revealed on September 12 in Yaounde by Communication’s Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi during the 5th session of the National Commission for Assistance to Private Press.
At the session, Minister Sadi, who doubles as the commission’s President urged members to examine the different applications with objectivity and impartiality. The 2023 amount has witnessed an increase of FCFA 63 million.
Disclosing the amount, the Minister expressed government’s commitment to ensuring a robust, sustainable and responsible media that promotes democracy, national unity and other republican values. The Minister said 71 applications qualified for the aid – 65 newspapers and six online outlets.
Meanwhile Kisito Ngankak, Director of Private Media Development and Publicity at the Ministry of Communication, who doubles as Head of the Technical Secretariat of the national commission, indicated that the increase in the amount is the fruit of a positive advocacy of the Minister.
“It is the wish of the Minister for us to intensify our advocacy for more financial resources to be allocated for this purpose,” Ngankak said.
He added that the applications from different media organs who submitted for the 2023 session are being examined based on Ministerial Decision signed in April 2023, considering a number of conditions to be fulfilled by the applicants.
Among other things, he said, the conditions include the respect of ethics of the profession, enrolment of staff into the National Social Insurance Fund, fulfilment of tax duties and workers contract.
Last year FCFA 56 million was doled out to Private media – 70 newspapers and six online media organs.
Minister Sadi had explained the drop saying that Cameroon was not indifferent to the consequences of the multiple crisis the world was going through and which greatly affected the economy.