The CUIB (Buea Campus) Pre-event of the Economy of Francesco that began at 8am with holy mass, saw the participation of His Lordship Immanuel Bushu CUIB Chancellor and Bishop of Buea Diocese, Fr. George Nkeze CUIB President, Dr. De Bortoli Maurizio CUIB Vice President for Mission & Identity, Steve William Azeumo coordinator of the EoC hub Central Africa, some of staffs and a whole lot of students of Catholic University Institute Buea. This event organized as a prelude to the main event in Assisi 2020 and had as theme, ‘Giving a soul to the African Economy’.
Dr. George Atem Provost (Chief Academic Officer) welcomed all the participants for such a high esteemed event and urged the students to take it seriously because they are trained to be servant leaders as their school anthem rightly puts it. He expressed his wish to see that after the various exchanges, the students will take the engagement and the results will be enriching and visible.
Also, Rev Fr. John Paul the Director of Pastoral activities campus minister, explained the Pope’s Encyclical “Laudato Sii” – Praise be to God’. He buttressed on the importance of the said document as the most powerful writings in the church history so as to prepare everyone for its content. He then went further to explain that “Laudato Sii” is a discuss about our common home planet earth, the need for us to know that we are connected with the environment and so doing harm to the environment is doing harm to ourselves and the need for a dialogue that involves everyone to take action that protects our environment. Furthermore, Mr. Steve W. Azeumo awakened everyone by telling them that the Economy of Francesco is a new concept and requires everyone’s substantial input to give it flesh. He also urged all participants to avoid considering the other economies that exist such as Economy of Communion, solidarity and social economy just to name a few, when talking about the EoF and says we must take into the consideration the failures of the liberal systems.
Moreover, Prof. Luigino Bruni Professor of Economy at LUMSA University Rome (Italy) intervened via Skype. After taking some time to explain his role in the organization of the EoF event he expressed his joy in organizing this event for the young people. Some questions were presented to Prof. Bruni; Is the EoF a new concept? Why are the young people targeted? He answered the stating that it is the first time we use this concept and no one knows yet how it will be but of course it will be a special economy with sensibility to the environment and the inclusion of the poor as well as sustainable. Talking about why the young people are the target, he emphatically mentioned that the young people are open to new technologies than the old, they are also the leaders of today and tomorrow. This is why the various youth representatives are expected to participate using their intelligence, creativity and talents to propose this new concept. In addition, Ombele Marlon ENP coach of CUIB did a presentation on the entrepreneurial mindset of CUIB, urging the youths (students of CUIB) to move out of the mindset of crazy capitalism, take engagements not just to hard work but to strategic work and also stressed on the need for businesses that are welcoming to everyone’s uniqueness.
More so, there was a workshop cheered by Mr. Steve William wherein he asked questions to all in attendance and each participant had a piece of paper to note down their own answers. The questions asked centered on; what needs to be done for man to live in a way that his actions doesn’t harm the environment? What the Economy of Francesco will look like? What steps to take to make the EoF concrete? Who are the poor and what are the different types of Poverty in Cameroon in particular and Africa in general? It is worth noting that different participants reacted differently to the above questions but it was a very rich moment for everyone to learn and have an idea of part of the package the Economy of Francesco promises to bring. Some students shared their impressions of the event wherein they expressed joy to see such a beautiful initiative come up at a time like this.
His Lordship Immanuel Bushu concluded the ceremony by reminding us that Man has turned away from God and that’s why so many things have gone wrong. He also reiterated that there can be no better way of giving a soul to the Economy than turning back to God and that signs of a better economy will be seen when people start thinking of the others rather than themselves. His Lordship also reminded all those representing Cameroon at the event in Assisi to be ready to table concrete proposals particularly from the African traditional settings which according to him have so much to offer. The event which was had about 100 participants in the Buea campus and connected with us via Skype from Douala Campus with a participation of 180 students, ended well and there was a lot of chatting between students sharing their impressions.