The department of History and Archeology, Faculty of Arts in the university of Bamenda, UBa has validated the PhD thesis of Dr Laila Austine.
Laila was awarded an excellent on Wednesday July 6, 2022, after successfully defending on the topic “Cameroon defense forces in the management of maritime security challenges, 1981-2017; the South West coast experience”
Dr Laila in his research proposed several measures to the government of Cameroon on how maritime problems can be handle
The defense which took place on the Bamenda university campus was chaired by Professor Mark Bolak Funteh, who is an expert in the same field and other rapporteurs
Defending the research he took over four years to put together, Laila Austine explained that his main objective was to examine the historical dynamics and threats on the population and advance the role played by security forces at the coastal line, bringing fought where they failed and where they succeeded
Laila advanced in his research that the smuggling of petrol from Nigeria and the absence of fuel stations in the neighboring towns are some of the reasons that caused a lot of problems along the coast of Bakassi and Limbe
“I listened to radio, television and discovered that there is a lot of piracy attacks and other forms of insecurity along the coast of Cameroon, so i was provoked to dive into this sector to discover what caused the problems,” Laila Austine said
Stating some of the challenges that he and his supervisor encountered in carrying the research, Laila said lack of resources, the Anglophone crisis and many others were his setbacks.
“We encountered a lot of challenges especially at the time when the sociopolitical crisis was at its pick. We also faced challenges in getting supporting documents and you know studying maritimes is very expensive in Cameroon, but I still succeeded,” Laila added
According to Laila’s supervisor, Professsor Nfi Joseph Lon, he accepted the student to work on the topic because it is a topical issue that is still existing till date.
“We have been hearing about high rate of piracy and theft along the borders. I thought it was necessary for Historians to venture into this area and look at the evolution of some of the security challenges to contribute to knowledge in this domain,” Prof Nfi Joseph said
Adding on the importance of the research, Professsor Nfi Joseph said it is an academic work that is very important to the government of Cameroon and it is also a good research for transport and logistics maritime students.
“Austin’s work is highly recommend especially as we recently had the newly created school of maritimes in Ebolowa, Limbe and many others. I think that this student fits in this institutions and if much is done in this domain, we can better manage our maritime challenges,” Prof Nfi Joseph added