YAOUNDE, August 6, 2015—Continuing its tradition, the World Bank country office in Yaoundé opened its doors to over one hundred people who came to admire the new collection of works by Cameroonian artists during the opening of the exhibition “Cameroon, a Contemporary Vision, Act V.”
With a rich cultural and artistic heritage, Cameroon is home to highly talented artists, painters, and photographers. This exhibition was an opportunity to raise their profile and the visibility of their work within Cameroon and abroad.
Max Lyonga, an artist hailing from the south-west region of the country, is perfect example of an artist who has benefited from this tradition. He now regularly exhibits in Cameroon and abroad, and several of his paintings have been acquired by the World Bank Art Program in Washington, D.C.
Blanche Agoume, Boris Nzebo, Jean David Nkot, Jean Emati, Hako Hankson, Salifou, Merlin Teffolo, and Fatima Megua are the nine selected artists whose works will be on display for one year at the World Bank’s premises.
“One of the roles of the World Bank is to promote development, and I think that culture can also play this role,” said the outgoing Country Director, Mr. Gregor Binkert. “Art inspires, connects and stimulates, and promotion of the cultural heritage of the country is important to the social development of a country.”
Choosing these nine artists, including two women—one a photographer and the other a cabinetmaker—and seven painters, was no easy task as the country has a wealth of talented artists.
“Thanks to the artists who have partnered with us this year, visitors will be able to explore other facets of culture and appreciate the diversity of Cameroonian art,” noted Mamma Alim Ahmed, curator of the exhibition. “We thank them for agreeing to share their valuable work with us.”
The exhibition was also an opportunity to say goodbye to the Country Director, Mr. Gregor Binkert, whose tenure in Cameroon drew to a close after four years in that capacity.
The preview ended with a speech from Binkert, who was eager to present the work done by the World Bank during the past four years (2011-2015). “Financing of the World Bank’s portfolio in Cameroon increased from US$968 million to US$1,365 million, an increase of 41 percent. Our commitments cover virtually all sectors of the economy,” said Mr. Binkert.
The Country Director expressed his appreciation to Cameroonians for welcoming him so warmly and for helping him discover a country that he will fondly remember.