By Doh James Sonkey
Cameroon’s new Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute appointed last January 4, 2019 has expressed gratitude to the President of the Republic, Paul Biya for appointing him to various positions of responsibility in the country since 1986.
Reacting shortly after his appointment by Presidential Decree No 2019/001 of 4 January 2019, the new Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief, Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute told the state media that “Today the President of the Republic informed me that he has selected me as the next Prime Minister. I was overwhelmed by that piece of information. I told him while I was grateful to him for having since 1986 appointed me to various positions of responsibilities in this country, I will pledge my entire being to doing exactly what he will expect from me. So it was with a great deal of humility, a great deal of emotion but also a great deal of satisfaction and pride that I informed him that I was able and willing to do his bid.”
Quizzed to know if he is already aware of his new duties, Chief Dr. Dion Ngute responded that, “As Head of Government, my duty as the Head of State informed me will be to coordinate the work of government, to ensure that his policies are put in place, ensure that his priorities are effectively carried out and that is exactly what I am going to do.”
Through this appointment, it is noted that President Paul Biya decided to place his choice on a close collaborator he has been making use of in several capacities for the past 33 years.
It is therefore Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute who will have the task to fulfill President Biya’s new policies in the current mandate of Greater Opportunities that started last November 6, 2018 after he was sworn in at the National Assembly in Yaoundé following his victory at the October 7, 2018 presidential election.
Joseph Dion Ngute was born on March 12, 1954 in his native Bongongo Barombi in Ndian Division of the South West region.
He obtained his GCE Advanced Level at Government Bilingual High School Buea and then enrolled into the University of Yaoundé I where he studied from 1973 to 1977 and obtained Bachelor in Law. He later moved to Queen Mary College of London University where he obtained Master Degree in Law. From 1978 to 1982 Dion Ngute pursued PhD studies in Law at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.
Since 1980, he is lecturer at the University of Yaoundé II, Soa.
He started benefitting from President Biya’s confidence in 1986 when he was appointed Deputy Director General of the National Centre of Administration and Magistracy and on March 11, 1991 he became Director General ENAM. On December 7, 1997, he was appointed Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in charge of Relations with the Commonwealth, a post he held till March 2, 2018 when he was moved to the Presidency of the Republic as Minister in charge of Special Duties.
He has represented Cameroon at the U.N Human Rights Council, Geneva as well as the Africa Commission for Human and people’s Rights in Banjul, Gambia.
Joseph Dion Ngute a member of the U.N. sponsored Cameroon / Nigeria Mixed Commission, participated in the negotiations leading to the implementation of the I.C.J decision on the boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria of October 10, 2002. These negotiations culminated in the handing over of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon by Nigeria on August 14th, 2008. He also led the Cameroonian delegation to negotiations that led to the creation of the African Union from the erstwhile O.A.U. He is also the Cameroonian lead negotiator within the Gulf of Guinea Commission.
He is a traditional Chief from Ekondo Titi, Bongongo village in the South – West Region of Cameroon, and holder of many awards from various orders in Cameroon. Politically, he is a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) Party.
Exactly 10 months later, President Biya appointed him Prime Minister, Head of Government on January 4, 2019 replacing longest-serving PM Philemon Yang.