Personality of the Month- Kah Walla

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Edith Kahbang Walla (born February 28, 1965), popularly known as Kah Walla, is a Cameroonian politician, entrepreneur and social activist. She went into politics in 2007 with the Social Democratic Front ( SDF), the main Cameroonian opposition party and was then elected into the municipal council of Douala I. In 2010, she resigned from SDF following a divergence over strategy and declared her intention to run for the 2011 presidential election on October 23, 2010. On April 30, 2011, she was elected as the president of the Cameroon People’s Party (CPP) and party candidate for 2011 presidential election.

She is one woman who has incessantly stood up to the brutal and corrupt regime in Cameroon and has braved several arrests to become one of the leading political figures in the country and a role model to many young persons, especially young women.

Kah Walla is the CEO of STRATEGIES!, a Leadership and Management consulting firm which she founded in 1995. She was recognized in 2007 by World Bank as one of the seven influential women entrepreneurs in Africa, she was counted among the 150 women who move the world by Newsweek.

Family

Kah Walla was born on February 28, 1965 in Ibadan, Nigeria. She originates from the North West Region, of Cameroon, more precisely from Bali Nyonga from her father and from Pinyin from her mother. Her father, John Solomon Walla, before his death has been Director of a consulting firm owned by John Ngu Foncha and Salomon Tandeng Muna, then Inspector General, Director of Shipping in Douala and finally representative of Cameroon at Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States on Maritime Transports in Abidjan. Her mother, Grace Ebako Walla, now retired holds two doctorates: one in public health and one in health education; she led the NGOs CAMNAFAW (Cameroon National Association for Family Welfare). Kah is single with seven adopted children.

Education

Kah Walla, began her primary education in the American School of Yaounde. She continued her studies in the Ivory Coast Academy of Bouake in Ivory Coast. After graduation, she got admitted into Howard University in Washington where she obtained her B.Sc in zoology and studied for a Master of Business Administration in 1990.

Political career

Entry into Politics

Kah says her family has always been a source of motivation and inspiration for her in the political field. She gained experience over the years with the support of one of her colleagues of the SDF as they wrote the last Speech from the SDF chairman Ni John Fru Ndi during his campaign in 1992. She was an adviser and a trainer to the party until 2007, when she decided to officially join the party and was elected councilor in the city of Douala. In 2010, she stood against party’s decision forbidding its militants from taking part in the ongoing voters’ registration. She was later accused of lack of accountability in the management of party funds, On 23 October 2010, she resigned from the SDF and announced her candidature for the 2011 presidential election.

She was elected as the president of Cameroon People’s Party on April 30th, 2011, succeeding Samuel Tita Fon who created the party in 1991.

Candidate in the 2011 presidential election

In 2010, Kah Walla held a press conference to announce her decision to exit the SDF party and run for the 2011 presidential election. She separated from the SDF by resigning. And some time later, she joined the CPP and became president in April 2011. She explained later that the party for which she has campaigned since its creation no longer shared the same ideals, particularly with regard to the vision for the presidential election.

She is generally referred to as the first woman to ever run for the presidential election in Cameroon.

To attract the maximum possible number of young people prior to presidential elections, she encouraged registration on the electoral lists in the country. The awareness campaign enabled her to address more than 500,000 Cameroonians within a very short time.

She stood for the presidency along with 22 other candidates including Paul Biya and John Fru Ndi . She campaigned under the slogan “Kah Walla 2011 – The Time is Now”. She was ranked 6th out of the 23 candidates, with 0,72% of the vote, at the end of the election which was won by incumbent President Paul Biya.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2007: Recognised by the World Bank as of one of the 7 women entrepreneurs working to improve the business environment in Africa
  • 2010: Cited by Newsweek & Daily Beast as one of 150 women who shake the world
  • 2011: Vital Voices Global Leadership Award in public Life
  • 2014: DVF Award (Diane Von Furstenberg)
  • 2015 : Vital Voices Vanguard Award 2015

Biography Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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