18 Aug 2016
Cities Programme welcomes Bangangté
“Nobility, Dignity and Elegance”
– motto of Bangangté
This month we had the pleasure of speaking to the Commune of Bangangté‘s mayor, Celestine Ketcha Courtes, about the French-speaking, West Cameroonian city’s recent commitment to the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme.
With a population of 200,000, Bangangté’s main ethnic group is Bamiléké (representing most villages). However, seven traditional kingdoms and chiefdoms have greatly influenced Bagnangté’s rich culture, which is characterised by traditional rituals including folk music and dance. This sense of deep-rooted tradition and cultural history can be explained by the fact that only 20% of Bangangté’s urban area populations originate from other parts of Africa.
Bangangté’s food culture is also very prominent. Endeavoring to make healthy produce available to the wider community, the Commune partners with local companies and businesses once a year to host an affordable food market and fair that seeks to promote traditional cooking in the region. “Gastro Nde’lices” has been running for six years.
Since becoming mayor in 2007, Celestine Ketcha Courtes has passionately promoted sustainable development as the main driver for social change. As a result, the Commune has come to be repeatedly recognised as the cleanest city in Cameroon, winning the FEICOM Award in 2012 for Best Practice of Local Development for Hygiene and Safety, and the UN Public Service Award of Excellence in 2014.
In 2015 Bangangté joined the Global Compact of Mayors for Climate and, in 2016, they became certified in ISO 26000 – an international standard developed to help organisations effectively assess and address social responsibilities that are relevant and significant to their mission, vision and community.
Joining the Cities Programme
With already such a strong commitment and focus on sustainable development and good governance, Bangangté saw an automatic need to join the Cities Programme whose Ten Principles naturally resonated with the Commune’s pre-existing priorities and values. in our interview, Celestine Ketcha Courtes said,
“L’adhésion au Global Compact est la suite logique d’un ensemble d’actions et d’engagements visant à localiser les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD) au niveau de la Commune de Bangangté. Elle vise à faire de Bangangté une ville durable.”
“Joining the Global Compact is a logical continuation of a series of actions and commitments to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this programme, we continue to strive making Bangangté a more sustainable city.”
She also shared the cities main priorities in relation to the Cities Programme’s Ten Principle’s and the Global Compact’s SDGs.
- Promote a healthy and liveable environment
- Improve access to water and sanitation for citizens
- Develop renewable energies
- Combat unemployment by creating sustainable jobs for youth and women
- Improve access to quality health care for the population
- Improve the delivery of public service
- Promote human rights while maintaining respect for customs and traditions.
We look forward to working with the Commune of Bangangté, which is has already proven to be an exemplary city in sustainable development.