Paul Biya

Paul Biya

Prime Minister of Cameroon
Date of Birth: 13.02.1933
Country: Cameroon

  1. Biography of Paul Biya
  2. Education and Early Career
  3. Political Career
  4. Economic Policies and International Relations
  5. Recent Years

Biography of Paul Biya

Paul Biya is a Cameroonian politician and statesman who has been the President of Cameroon since November 6, 1982. He was born on February 13, 1933, in the village of Mvomeka'a in the southern region of the country. Biya belongs to the ethnic group of the Fang (Bulu).

Paul Biya

Education and Early Career

In 1956, Biya graduated from the prestigious General Leclerc High School in Yaounde, Cameroon, with a diploma in philosophy. He then pursued further education at the Louis-le-Grand High School in Paris and the Sorbonne University. Biya also earned degrees from the Paris University Law School and the Institute of Political Studies. In 1962, he completed his studies at the Institute of Overseas Studies in Paris.

Upon returning to Cameroon, Biya began his career in public service. He served as a special assignments officer in the office of President Ahmadou Ahidjo. He later held various positions, including director of the Cabinet at the Ministry of National Education, Youth, and Culture, and secretary-general of the Ministry. In 1970, he became a government minister.

Political Career

In 1975, Biya was appointed as the Prime Minister of Cameroon. Following the unexpected resignation of President Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1982, Biya succeeded him as the President of Cameroon. He accused Ahidjo of planning a coup and later sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Throughout his presidency, Biya has faced accusations of dictatorship and high levels of corruption. He has been included in lists of the world's worst dictators alongside leaders like Robert Mugabe and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Despite criticism, Biya has maintained a firm grip on power, consistently winning re-election.

Economic Policies and International Relations

Biya has developed economic relations with China, which has invested in several major projects in Cameroon. He has also been involved in negotiations over the disputed Bakassi Peninsula, rich in oil, with Nigeria. In 2008, the peninsula was officially transferred to Cameroon.

Under Biya's administration, Cameroon has faced economic challenges, including a large external debt. In 2006, a significant portion of Cameroon's debt was forgiven by the Paris Club, providing some relief to the country's economy.

Recent Years

In recent years, Biya has faced opposition from various political rivals, most notably Maurice Kamto. In the 2018 presidential elections, Biya was re-elected with 71.28% of the votes. Kamto contested the results and was subsequently arrested and held in detention for nine months. In October 2019, he was released along with several of his supporters, signaling a possible reconciliation between Biya and the opposition.

In July 2023, Biya led a delegation from Cameroon to the Russia-Africa Summit, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting focused on cooperation and strengthening diplomatic ties between Cameroon and Russia.