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First group of pilgrims from Cameroon arriving on Sept. 3.

RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR.

RIYADH: The Cameroon Embassy said that the first group of Cameroonian pilgrims who will perform Haj will arrive on Sept. 3. "A total of 4,500 Cameroonians will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year," an embassy official told Arab News. Officials at Cameroon's Consulate in Jeddah said that the pilgrims will take a direct flight from Garoua, in northern Cameroon, to Madinah. The embassy official said Cameroon's annual quota is 10,000 but "we have never reached this number due to the high cost of performing Haj." Last year 4,500 pilgrims came for Haj. "Cameroonian pilgrims coming for Haj annually not only show their Islamic faith but also reflect the friendship binding their country and Saudi Arabia," he said. Such a friendship, he added, is also shown by the nearly 50 Cameroonians enrolled in Arabic and religious courses at universities in the Saudi capital. He said that the bilateral ties between the two countries have been strengthening over the years, adding that there's much scope for further improved relations. Cameroon and Saudi Arabia established ties in 1961. He expressed his country's thanks to Saudi Arabia for funding social and industrial projects in Cameroon through the Saudi Development Fund. He noted that as far as investments are concerned, Saudi businessmen have infused capital amounting to SR250 million in his country. "For this reason, we look forward with optimism regarding our bilateral relations," he said. He said that Cameroon is a symbol of institutional stability with an economy in constant progress in an open and democratic society. "Cameroon has a favorable business environment. The investment charter is a key incentive for business in Cameroon," he said. He noted that Cameroon's economy is based on agriculture, oil production and a sizeable food processing industry, aluminum mining and tourism. He said that Cameroon has a drawn up a growth plan running to 2035. "Cameroon produces cocoa, coffee, tea, cotton, bananas, rubber, palm oil and sugar. It's also rich in oil, natural gas, bauxite, iron, gold, diamonds, sapphires, cobalt, among others," he said.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 8, 2015
Words:361
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