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October 7 presidential elections: We begin profiling the nine presidential candidates with Adamou Ndam Njoya

Adamou Ndam Njoya (born 8 May 1942) is a Cameroonian politician, lawyer, author, and professor. He was Minister of National Education from 1977 to 1980, and he has been the President of the Cameroon Democratic Union (UDC), an opposition party, since 1991. He has also been the Mayor of Foumban since 1996, and from 1997 to 2007 he was a Deputy in the National Assembly. He unsuccessfully ran as a presidential candidate in the 1992 and 2004 elections.


Ndam Njoya was born at Njika, Foumban, West Province, Cameroon, on 8 May 1942. He received his early education at Foumban and Nkongsamba and his undergraduate at General Leclerc College in Yaoundé. He went to France for his advanced education, receiving a MA and a PhD in public international law and political science at the University of Paris (Panthéon). Ndam Njoya studied diplomacy at the Institut International d’Administration Publique (IIAP), followed by three internships, with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the French Embassy in London, and with International Organizations at the United Nations European office in Geneva, before returning to Cameroon in 1969.

Government service

Ndam Njoya was briefly Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1969 to 1970. He joined the law faculty at the University of Yaoundé in 1970 (a post he still retains). Ndam Njoya then worked for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Cameroon as director of the diplomatic training program from 1970 to 1972, and he helped to create the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC); he was the IRIC’s first director from 1972 to 1975. He became a member of the Economic and Social Council of Cameroon in 1974, and he was then appointed as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government named on 30 June 1975. In December 1977, Ndam Njoya was appointed as Minister of National Education. His attempts to introduce stringency and morality into the educational system met with resistance, especially from the wealthy Francophone families who were used to financial incentives determining the success of their children at primary and post-primary institutions. In July 1980, under such pressure, President Ahmadou Ahidjo removed him as Minister of National Education and instead appointed him as Minister Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of General Inspection of State and Administrative Reforms, a relatively powerless post. In January 1982, Ahidjo dismissed him from the government.

Writer From 1982 to 1990

Ndam Njoya focused on his writing and teaching as well as donating his time to philanthropic endeavours. He has written in the fields of law, political science, history, international relations and political ideas, as well as theatrical pieces, poems, and fiction. He also served as a member of the Executive Bureau of UNESCO from 1985 to 1989. Selected worksNdam Njoya, Adamou (1975) Prières et chants de louanges à Dieu Ndam et Raynier, Yaoundé, Cameroon;Ndam Njoya, Adamou (1976) Le Cameroun dans les relations internationales Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence, Paris, ISBN 2-275-01397-0 ;Ndam Njoya, Adamou (1977) Njoya : réformateur du royaume Bamoun N.E.A. (Nouvelles éditions africaines), Abidjan, Ivory Coast, ISBN 2-85809-101-3 ;Ndam Njoya, Adamou (1982) Les Amo : recueil de poèmes Ndam et Raynier, Yaounde;Ndam Njoya, Adamou (1983) Manuel pratique de rédaction administrative et des documents diplomatiques Editions SOPECAM, Yaoundé, Cameroon;Politician In December 1990, President Paul Biya again permitted opposition political parties in Cameroon, and Ndam Njoya started gathering together reformist minded politicians. In July 1991, he was briefly arrested along with other opposition politicians, but was quickly released. In September 1991, he announced the formation of the Cameroon Democratic Union (Union Démocratique du Cameroun, UDC), a political party. In his party statements Ndam Njoya has stressed decentralisation of government and respect for the rights of minorities. Ndam Njoya was the UDC candidate in Cameroon’s first multiparty presidential election, held in October 1992, and he took fourth place with 3.6% of the vote. In Foumban, his stronghold, he received 59% of the vote, but his success was confined to West Province, where he received 68,284 of his 107,411 total votes (17.58% of the vote in West Province). He was elected as Mayor of Foumban in the January 1996 municipal election and was additionally elected to the National Assembly in the 1997 parliamentary election as a UDC candidate in Noun. On 13 January 2001, Ndam Njoya and various other party leaders participated in an unauthorised protest in Yaoundé against the National Election Observatory, believing that it would not be an impartial body. The protest was dispersed by security forces, and Ndam Njoya, along with the other party leaders, was detained for

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