YAOUNDE, December 5, 2019 – For the first time since its creation in May 1996, a woman is leading the Cameroon Sport Journalist Association (AJSC).
“A NEW ERA” – The list led by Bertille Missi Bikoun was approved by 54 votes to 8 for the list defended by Albin Ngantchou during the ordinary general assembly held on November 29th, 2019 in Yaoundé. This congress, which took place in the conference room of the Ahmadou Ahidjo Sports Stadium, one of the facilities that will host the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in 2020 and the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2021, broke the attendance record: 71 members was present.
A new era is thus beginning for the AJSC, now led by Bertille Missi Bikoun. The former member of Cameroon’s first private daily newspaper “Mutations” succeeds the late Abed Nego Messang (1996-2003), the late Ignace Ngonga Kapsi (2003-2006), Emmanuel Gustave Samnick (2007-2015) and Eric Martial Djomo (2015-2019).
COMPOSITION – Several constants emerge from this new National Executive board of the AJSC: there is a balance between Francophones and Anglophones; it is also composed of professionals working in various regions of the country. In short, a completely renovated team, that will now represent the corporation of sports journalists in Cameroon and continue its rehabilitation at both national and international levels.
Grégoire Nguema, a journalist from the state radio and television station CRTV, will play a supervisory role. The long-time member of the AJSC in facts, will join the National Executive board for the first time as Special Advisor.
DIVIONS AND ATTEMPTS FOR RECONCILIATION – The Cameroonian sports press thus began its rebirth at the end of a long period of parturition. Some supporters of the former executive board elected in August 2015 tried, in vain, to hold a parallel general assembly in Douala on 29 November 2019. The only feat of this board led by Eric Martial Djomo, whose term has expired on 15 August 2019, is the organization, during four-year term, of a general meeting at the end of 2017. Deserted by its first vice-president, Matute Menyoli, and its secretary general, Simon Lyonga, this executive board existed only by the inflammatory releases signed by the deputy secretary general Mathieu Nathanaël Njog. Plunged into inertia and, finally, denied by a large majority of active members, this 2015 executive board was put in abeyance by an extraordinary general assembly held on 7 April 2018 in Yaoundé.
The management of current affairs was then entrusted to an Interim Management Committee (IMC) headed by Ms. Missi Bikoun, for an initial period of six months, renewable. At the end of its mission, the IMC had scheduled an elective general assembly on 25 March 2019. But he had to postpone it. Indeed, on Simon Lyonga’s request, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication, Félix Zogo, had agreed to lead a conciliation committee that would lead to a single AJSC congress bringing together the two trends. A mediation accepted by both sides but which, seven months later didn’t produce the expected results.
VOTING LISTS RESTORED – A new National Executive has been elected since November 29 for a four-year term. The ordinary general assembly of the AJSC has previously amended a provision of its Rules of Procedure by restoring “list voting” instead of the “single-member constituency vote” introduced in 2015, which has partly blocked the Association’s recent governance.
FOUNDATIONAL QUESTION – The AJSC meeting was also marked this year by the inaugural lesson of the veteran of the African sports press, Abel Mbengue. Focused on the question “What is the sports journalist?”, the Patriarch’s intervention gave, not only to the newly elected board of the AJSC, but also to the many journalists from dozens of local radio and television stations and hundreds of national newspapers, the keys to avoid giving in, in the exercise of their profession, to the passion and emotions that the world of sport carries with it.
Here is the list of AJSC new Executive Board members: