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The contribution of catholic missionaries in the social development of nkongho-mbo 1936- 2001: a historical perspective

Author: 
Forka Leypey Mathew Fomine
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

As Essentially, this article examines the contribution of Catholic Missionaries in the social development of Nkongho-Mbo from1936 to 2001. What used to constitute Mbo as an ethnic entity was divided in 1916 following the defeat and ouster of the Germans from Kamerun and the partition of the territory by the British and the French. The line of partition divided the Mbo group, giving birth to French-speaking and English-speaking Mbo. This study is focused primarily on the NkonghoMbo people who belong to the, English-speaking sector of the large Mbo ethnic group. The paper argues convincingly thatin the absence of Catholic missionaries who arrived Nkongho-Mbo indifferent bands, there should have been very little or no social developments in the area during the period under study (1936-2001). The Catholic missionaries did quite much in the domain of education, health and electricity provision. For example, the health centre that they established in Mbetta in 1964 significantly reduced mortality rate in the area. More so, the education offered by the same missionaries, both at primary and post primary levels aided in reducing the rate of illiteracy in the entire Nkongho-Mbo area. The provision of hydro-electricity by the missionaries was also very striking. Nkongho-Mbo area where the hydroelectricity was provided became an area of interest to the neighbouring ethnic groups. The electricity did not only chase away darkness in Mbetta in the night but it also served as an important source of power. The use of electricity-powered mills to grind food items like corn, ground nuts, pepper and other items became widespread in the area. This article concludes that the Nkongho-Mbo people benefited remarkably from the presence of the Catholic missionaries in their area from 1936 to 2001.

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