PM Dion Ngute orders retrocession Of Youpwe Artisanal Fishing Center

Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute chaired an inter-ministerial meeting in his offices on April 30. The agenda focused on “preliminary issues to address ahead of the commissioning of the Youpwe Artisanal Fishing Valorization Center (Cevapa-Youpwe),” as conveyed in a message from the prefect of the Wouri department (Douala), Sylyac Marie Mvogo. This meeting, attended by six ministers, was convened following a plea to the Prime Minister by three senior advisors of the Douala Urban Community (CUD) regarding the conflict between the Douala municipality and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries (Minepia) over the control of the Youpwe landing stage, built with funding from Japan.

“We reached out to the Prime Minister after noting the violation of articles regarding the transfer of powers contained in the General Code of Decentralized Territorial Communities, as well as the agreement signed between the State of Cameroon, Japan, and the CUD, which grants exclusive management rights of the landing stage to the CUD,” explained Charles Elie Zang, one of the senior advisors who signed the plea.

After presenting the details of the case to the assembly, “the Prime Minister decided, after consultation, to withdraw the management of the Youpwe landing stage from the Ministry of Fisheries and restore management rights to the CUD,” said the local representative. Charles Elie Zang added that instructions were given to the Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office “to withdraw the visa from the two acts signed by the Minister of Fisheries, Dr. Taïga.” These acts include the decree of December 22, 2023, which concerns the creation, organization, and functioning of the Cevapa-Youpwe, and the decree of February 27, 2024, appointing the director of the said center. The Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries will now ensure the control of packaging and transportation standards for fishery products.

Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute’s decisions will be formalized by a resolution, “which will be drafted in the coming days by the Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Séraphin Magloire Fouda, and shared with the stakeholders,” added the senior advisor of the CUD. However, for the management of the Youpwe landing stage to be returned to the Douala municipality, it would be necessary for Dr. Taïga to retract his decrees that sparked the conflict. To challenge these decrees, the CUD filed a request for a stay of execution of the decree of December 22, 2023, with the Administrative Court of the Littoral on March 5, 2024, after submitting a prior gracious appeal to the Minepia on February 28, 2024, seeking the retraction of this decree.

The Youpwe landing stage, financed by a CFA6.6 billion grant from Japan, was completed on December 15, 2022, following the signing of the agreement in 2017. The infrastructure was intended to modernize the conservation and marketing system for the 262 fish vendors previously located on the old site, but its commissioning is still pending.