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Ferdinand Léopold Oyono (born 14 September 1929[1]) is an author from Cameroon whose work is recognized for irony that shows how easily people can be fooled. Beginning in the 1960s, he had a long career of service as a diplomat and as a minister in the government of Cameroon, ultimately serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1992 to 1997 and then as Minister of State for Culture from 1997 to 2007.

Diplomatic and political career

Oyono was born in Ebolowa in the South Province of Cameroon. After obtaining his high school diploma in Yaoundé, Oyono studied in Paris. Following Cameroon's independence, Oyono was a member of the Cameroonian delegation to the United Nations in 1960, when the country was admitted to the UN. Oyono subsequently served as Cameroon's ambassador to various countries from 1965 to 1974. He was briefly the Ambassador to Liberia in 1965, then served as ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Communities from 1965 to 1968 and as ambassador to France, with additional accreditation for Spain, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, from 1969 to 1974. From 1974 to 1982 he was Cameroon's Permanent Representative to the United Nations;[1] he acted as President of the United Nations Security Council in place of the United Kingdom's Ivor Richard at the 1,866th meeting of the Security Council on December 16, 1975.[1][2] From 1982 to 1985 he again served as ambassador to various countries: first as ambassador to Algeria and Libya, then as ambassador to the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries.[1]

In 1985, President Paul Biya recalled Oyono from London and appointed him as Secretary-General of the Presidency of Cameroon. Oyono remained in the latter post for about a year before Biya instead appointed him as Minister of Town Planning and Housing in 1986.[3] Although he was dismissed from the government in 1990, he was subsequently appointed as Minister of Foreign Relations on November 27, 1992, serving in that position until he was instead named Minister of State for Culture on December 8, 1997.[1] Oyono was a member of the National Commission for the coordination of President Biya's re-election campaign in the October 2004 presidential election and was the president of the campaign's support and follow-up committee in the South Province.[4]

After nearly ten years as Minister of State for Culture, Oyono was excluded from the government that was appointed on September 7, 2007.[5][6][7] Oyono is thought to be a close friend of President Paul Biya,[7] and observers attributed his departure from the government to his advanced age and poor health.[7][8] He had been criticized for reportedly not working at his ministry for months at a time.[9] After leaving the government, Oyono was still believed to be highly influential behind the scenes.[10] Biya appointed him as a Roving Ambassador on 30 June 2009.[11]

Novels

Oyono's novels were written in French in the late 1950s and were only translated into English a decade or two afterward.

Among his works are:

  • Une vie de boy (1956; translated as Houseboy in 1966), a diary-form novel that criticized the morality of colonialism
  • Le Vieux N√®gre et la m√©daille (1956; translated as The Old Man and the Medal in 1969)
  • Chemin d'Europe (1960; translated as Road to Europe in 1989)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Profile at government website.
  2. ^ "Presidents of the Security Council : 1970-1979", UN.org.
  3. ^ West Africa, Issues 3600-3616 (1986), page 2,486.
  4. ^ "President Paul Biya selects campaign team", 2004 presidential election website.
  5. ^ "Cameroonian leader reshuffles his cabinet", African Press Agency, September 7, 2007.
  6. ^ "Remaniement: La Vidéo", cameroon-info.net, September 7, 2007 (French).
  7. ^ a b c "Le président Biya évince deux partis du gouvernement", Panapress (Jeuneafrique.com), September 9, 2007 (French).
  8. ^ Kini Nsom and Nformi Sonde Kinsai, "Cameroon: Despite Cabinet Reshuffle Northerners Still Gun for Inoni's Job", The Post, Buea (allAfrica.com), September 13, 2007.
  9. ^ Francis Wache, "September 7 Cabinet Reshuffle: Another Cabinet Reshuffle, Another Disappointment", The Post, September 10, 2007.
  10. ^ "Gerontocracy in Cameroon ‚Äď These Old Men Who Govern Us", icicemac.com, March 4, 2009.
  11. ^ Jean-Bruno Tagne, "Breaking News: Paul Biya modifie son Gouvernement !", Cameroon-info.net, 30 June 2009 (French).
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