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Cameroon Varsity Don Receives German Honorary Decoration 

By Lionel Tchoungui Bidzogo

Yaounde University I Don, Head of Department, Faculty of Languages, Literature and German Civilisations, and Director of the Center for Scientific Cooperation between Africa and Germany, Professor David Simo has received the German First Class Officer Order of Merit Cross for his incessant commitments to Germano-African Relations.

The cross was presented to him in Yaounde recently, by the German Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E. Dr. Klaus Ludwig Keferstein. Usually given to deserving personalities in recognition for their efforts in the fields of Politics, Economy, Culture, Intellect or Voluntary work, the Federal Cross of Merit is one of the highest distinctions of the Federal Republic of Germany. Subdivided into 8 echelons, the recently received medal is Dr. Simo’s third.

Committed to the promotion of Germano-Cameroon relations from both the cultural and academic perspectives since the 70’s, the Don has distinguished himself internationally, and has become one of the most important and listened to by German institutions in West Africa.

His struggles in the fostering of long lasting partnership between Germany and Africa have earned him a series of awards amongst which is the “Reimar Lust”, by the Alexander Von Humboldt and Fritz-Thyssen foundations. They have equally been very instrumental in the creation of an Information Center for the German Academic Exchange Programme, DAAD, in the Yaounde University I, UNIYAO I, one of the three on African soil, the creation of a center for Scientific Cooperation between Germany and Africa, in UNIYAO I, a pilot project and unique in the Higher Education sector in West Africa.

To continue promoting International Academic Dialogue, he created a network of West African Germanists, who after their clearance, which normally takes place in Germany, come back to their countries of origin with the aim of influencing higher education policies, modernising and internationalising to suit a favourable and long lasting interconnection with Germany.

The holder of a Magister Artium in German Language, Literature and Political Science, Sarre, PhD in Afro-European Comparative Literature and German Literature, Researcher, Director of the Institute of Philology of the UNIYAO I and President of the Association of African Germanists is more than determined to continue fostering the cooperation.