Saturday, April 16, 2016

Looking Glass: Meet Blaise Nkfunkoh Ndamnsah, Cameroonian Genius in the Diasporas

The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon once declared that “sustainable development is
Blaise Nkfunkoh NDAMNSAH
the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance”. Though society is such that some people create policies through speeches, other uses such speeches to effect positive changes in communities around the world. Development is a complex issue. Getting involved in security and peace initiatives that could generated a more stable world, peaceful environment and mutual co-existence is the most effective way of fighting poverty and achieving the MDGs.  Very often, we think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. But the worse part of poverty is when people have nobody who provides ideas or who could support innovative ideas that could lead to sustainable actions around the world. For sometime now, Cameroonians have been eager to knowing what the Cameroonian Diasporas could contribute towards the much talked-about Vision 2035. 
At The Eye newspaper, we are committed in bringing to you the worth of some Cameroonians in the Diasporas who could make significant contribution in nation building. One of such persons who has been and is providing remedy to this kind of poverty is Blaise Nkfunkoh Ndamnsah. He hails from Donga Mantung Division and currently living in Italy. He works as a train Cultural Mediator at the CARA Refugee Center Gorizia-Italy. He is the Vice Director to the Security and Defence Research Center in Gorizia. In conjunction with the trade union Cisl (Anolf-Gorizia) he is President and Legal Representative for the County Immigration Office.
Besides that Blaise Nkfunkoh is a public speaker and has offered lectures as Guest speaker and visiting lecturer at some European Universities( University of Padova (Italy), Ljubljana(Slovenia) on conflict analysis, Peacekeeping and Human Rights issues. He teaches English language and Geopolitics at the University of the third age in Gorizia- Italy (Università della terza età di Gorizia), As an external Collaborator with the Slovenian Defence Cluster Industry, Blaise is representing Slovenian industries to some African Defence Ministries. Currently he is a Doctoral candidate in Defence studies – at the University of Ljubljana. His research interest is “Cultural awareness training tools for Multinational Military Operations. A critical Analysis of the Multinational Land force(MLF)”.
Blaise Nkfunkoh is not a man to pigeon-hole with, whenever we make a closer look at his trappings in providing remedies to the world's most pressing issue as well as his innovative ideas at community levels. It is this art of reaching of reaching out to the world and providing remedy that is making him dissimilar from others.  
Many Cameroonians are still to crush such a feat. Not only is he the only one, who severally has been promoting the idea of peace and security in Africa, he has gone beyond that to making significant contribution in some European countries. Talk to him on this very pertinent issue and you will know you are with someone who is out to set example for others to follow. 
He is of the school of thought that holds that if there is peace and security in Africa, development will be sustainable. He has not only demonstrated this as Guest Speaker but has put all these ideas into books/publications.  The most interesting thing about this young and dynamic luminary is that he believes like Martin Luther King that “working is praying” and by so doing, his human and divine acts overrides, the human one bringing him closer to God and the communities.  
One famous philosopher once wrote that “if a man could mount to Heaven and survey the mighty universe, his admiration of its beauty would be much diminished unless he had some to share in his pleasure”. This clearly indicates that life harbors a vacuum and great people can only be identified when they interact in society. In other words, many people in society are just stage decorations while those who work hard in life stage the property to excellence. In fact what keeps the world intact is trust and society is so multifaceted that we are becoming short of role models like Blaise. Yet it is not a given to have such a role model. Blaise is one of those persons with a prolific slate. He is a man of a specific class and stands out clear in the madding crowd.

The Peace and Security Luminary
The most comfortable act on earth they say is to leave a legacy that would be remembered. From every indication Blaise has the knack to contribute enormously in improving lives around the globe and Cameroon. In one of his publications on the way such as: Cameroonian officers and commanders participating in a joint Cross National research on asymmetric warfare operations: old wars vs. new wars – the war against Boko Haram, he outlines all the necessary views and concepts.  
In fact judging from what the great and influential 18th  century writer and social critic, John Gardner said of great leaders, Blaise has “a significant role in creating the state of mind that is the society".  To Gardener, “great leaders can express the values that hold the society together. Most importantly, they can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations carry them above the conflicts that tear a society apart, and unite them in the pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts”. John Gardner might have been writing about his 18th century Europe, but the issues he raised then are as urgent today as they were then. Issues of leadership, values and principles, and above all, peace, security and sustainable development are as poignant in today’s society as they were in the 18th century.
Our societies, talk less of such people in Cameroon. Yet we had to move into the wilderness to look for one of such role model. In fact a Role Model as prescribed by Aristotle in his concept. Blaise Nkfunkoh has a wide knowledge in the Protection of Asylum seekers and the role of cultural mediation in Italy. In one of his on the “CARA” refugee centre of Gradisca D’isonzo(Go)-Italy he portrays what it takes.  
As Lewis H. Lapham puts it “Leadership consist not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint”. But Blaise is a man with a very rich education background. 

The Genuine Leader
It has also been about his beliefs that a better way to bring meaningful development to an area can as well be through politics. He then decided to fine-tune politics with his technological aplomb. As frontline militant of the CPDM who believes that for now, it is only the CPDM that can change the lot of his people, he decided to offer his time and experience to the building of a good image for the CPDM in Italy. His new generation militancy and his non-confrontational nature won for the CPDM many sympathizers. Interestingly, many of his lovers in the peace and security domain continued to remind him that they love him as a person but that he was riding the wrong horse. As convincing as a church priest, he could hammer a point that will guide them to understand that they should follow real power that signs for development projects. And that meaningful development only comes from government. Back home at Bih village, he is celebrated for bringing development to the doorsteps of his people. Of late, he was in the news to have lobbied the Italian couples who visited Donga Mantung Division to donate to schools, medical centres and palaces. 
 To describe Blaise as genius is give honour where it is outstanding. After a careful assessment of the potentials of those who passed round as leaders of the people in challenging times, Gardner was forced to come up with what he considered qualities of a good leader. In doing this, he had no bias or no particular individual in mind. His postulations on a good leader corresponded with what yet another greater leader of all times, Martin Luther King said. According to Martin Luther, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus”. Martin Luther King was simply overwhelmed by the quality of leaders around him as they fought the battle of equality between black and whites in the United States of America. Martin Luther was appalled not only by the number of quack but also kangaroo leaders that were doted in the black and white communities in the United States soon after independence. He saw in most leaders the individuals who rather than mold consensus in times of conflict went searching for consensus. He was also bothered about a leadership that was not committed and purposeful. His worries soon found expression in Dan Marino’s reflections that “Leadership, I think you must have that, particularly when a team’s on the field, they look to you. In critical situations, they look into your eyes to see if you’re there. If you’re not there, they start quitting”. Most of our leaders have fallen into this category. They quit even before the game is over, not knowing that the game does not end with the referee’s last whistle or when the crowds go home. It ends hours and years after the real match was played.
When others are singing a hymn, the level-headed Blaise Nkfunkoh Ndamnsah is singing a lullaby for the world to live in peace. When others think they have reached the end of the road, he thinks the journey is only beginning by protecting the interest of Asylum seekers and or giving out lectures to students. When others are taking only their needs into consideration, Blaise  is taking his abilities to the world. Like a true servant leader, he does not wait to be told what to do, he goes ahead and does what he thinks is for the interest of a greater majority. And there he is available to play the real match for the importance of compassion that Cameroon expects from the Diasporas  in order to guarantee peace, security and sustainable development at this point in time that the country is at war with the Islamic Sect, Boko Haram.

Profile of the Man/ Activities

Scientific Publications on the way: 
1. Author: Cameroonian officers and commanders participating in a joint Cross National research on asymmetric warfare operations: old wars vs. new wars – the war against Boko Haram. 
2. Co-author: Diversity and Cultural Issues in Multinational Military Operations. Case of the Italian-Slovenian-Hungarian Trilateral Brigade.
 3. Author: Protection of Asylum seekers and the role of cultural mediation in Italy: An analysis of the “CARA” refugee centre of Gradisca D’isonzo(Go)-Italy. SLOGA Journal-Slovenia. 

GUEST SPEAKER AT THE FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL SEMINARS: 
 Peace & Security in Africa: A critical Analysis of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Lectures to Masters students on Human Right and Multilevel governance. University of Padova-Italy 14/12/2015; 
 Human Rights Challenges in Peacekeeping Operations: From Cooperation to confrontation. African Union, African states and the ICC. Lectures to Masters students on Human Right and Multilevel governance. University of Padova-Italy 15/12/2015; 
 Cameroonian Forces combating terrorism, case of Boku Haram, cultural and military lessons learned at the 13th Biennial conference of ERGOMAS Open University of Israel, Ra’anana, Israel (8 – 12 June 2015);
 Diversity and Cultural Issues in Multinational Operations: Case of the Italian-SlovenianHungarian Multinational Land Force (MLF) “Battle group” with Headquarters in Udine-Italy. Organised by the European Research Group on Military and Society. “Armed Forces and Operations in Asymmetric Warfare Environment” Torino (Italy) February 5th-8th, 2015; 
 Summer School on the United Nations: Youth Competencies for the Challenges of the Globalized World. “ Cultural Mediation and International Protection Systems: the Case of CARA Refugee Centre in Gradisca D'isonzo – Italy” organised by the United Nation Association of Slovenia. Ljubljana, 10 – 12 September 2014; 
 Transitions in European Security Structures and Doctrine. Towards the Adoption of Cultural Awareness Training for European Battle Group Soldiers. Critical analysis of the Italian lead battle group- SGRI 2014 conference Trento Italy. 26-28/06/2014;
  Cultural awareness in the EU’s common security and defence Policy. Third Joint PhD Symposium on South East Europe ,University college London UK 13/06/2014; 
 Cultural awareness training in the EU’s CSDP. UACES student Forum 2014 at Aston University Birmingham-UK 23-24/04/2014; 
 Cultures, ISAF and Geopolitics in Afghanistan, to undergraduate students in defense studies –University of Ljubljana-Slovenia. 06/01/2014. (Part of his PhD research curricular). 
Extra Training Received 
1. CSDP(Common Security and Defense Policy) Strategy: Problems and priorities, a workshop on 31/01/2014 organized by Maastricht university in Maastricht- Netherlands; 
2. SECURITY SECTOR REFORM course , by the European Security and Defence College(ESDC) in Brussels, 10-12/2013; 
3. UNITED NATIONS HUMANITARIAN CIVIL-MILITARY COORDINATION (UNCMcoord) Course, By the UN OCHA(Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs)Geneva. It took place at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt 04/12-09/12/2011; 
4. NATO CIMIC Higher command course .By the CCOC Enschede Netherlands 03/10- 14/10/2011; 
5. COORDINATING CLUSTER ON EDUCATION AND CHILDS PROTECTION TRAINING. By Unicef N’djamena Tchad 22- 26/08/2011; 
6. NATO CIMIC LIAISON MUDULE COURSE (CLM) .By the Nato Base Motta di Livenza, at TV Italy. 20-23/06/2011; 
7. MANAGEMENT IN HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCIES. By Intersos (Humanitarian Aid Organization) at Castel Gandolfo Rome Italy . 15-17/04/2011; 
8. NATO CIMIC BASIC COURSE (NCBC), by the NATO Base Motta di livenza, at TV Italy. 6 - 17/09/2010;
9. HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TRAINING. H.E.L.P. I (health emergencies in large - population), H.E.L.P. II (health, ethics, policies and rights). By ICRC at ECOGIA-GENEVA Switzerland, 31 May - 11 June 2010; 
10. International Humanitarian Law(IHL). By Italian Red Cross Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 10th Course DIU- at Tarcento, Italy; 
11. Training course for interpreters and cultural mediators in the Asylum field, Intervention programme at the Identification Centers. Rome 23-25 November and 7-9 December 2007 United Nations High Commission for Refugees (unhcr); 
12. Elements of legislation regarding immigration and the rights of asylum “Post-graduate course”- 54 hours. By Civiform of Cividale at Udine Italy 2006; 
13. Group project management – Post-graduate course 68 hours. By IRES FVG at IRES Udine-Italy 2006; 14. Techniques of inter-cultural entertainment - 400 hours. By Civiform of Cividale, Udine -Italy 2006; 
15. IT support for project management-Post graduate course 56 hours. By IRES FVG at IRES Udine Italy. 2006; 
16. XII International Summer School "The Empire of the New Rules and the Ethics of Social Networks”. By ISIG of Gorizia- Italy .28 August - 8 September 2006; 
17. XI International Summer School "Governance in the New Europe. Civil and Political Societies at Work. By ISIG of Gorizia Italy. 29 August - 9 September 2005; 
18. Software engineer (programming) Internship in the IT sector at SIEMENS of Karlsruhe (Germany) - 1 August – 29 November. 2002; 

Memberships
  African Standby Capacity(ASC)
 ERGOMAS (European Research Group on Military and Society)
 Co-founder and Vice-President of SDRC (Security and Defence Research Center) in Gorizia Italy website, www.sdrc-go.org 
 YPFP (Young Professionals in Foreign Policy)-Brussels. 
 ICD (Institute of Cultural Diplomacy)- Berlin, 
 UACES (University Association for Contemporary European Studies)-London. 
 CRN (Collaborative Research Network) on CSDP(Common Security and Defence Policies) Strategy.  Regional registry for cultural Mediator, FVG region in Italy.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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