VAD protests against visa refusal for Cameroonian scholars by the German embassy

The German Embassy in Cameroon has denied the Schengen-visa applications of three Cameroonian academics who were set to travel to Germany in order to participate in a workshop on the restitution of colonial objects at the Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich. The Association for African Studies in Germany (VAD) protests against this move by German authorities as these colleagues were scholars with sufficient funds, international travel experience and were invited by German institutions. Our Cameroonian colleagues, amongst them very prominently Professor Albert Gouaffo of Dschang University, have collaborated in numerous important research initiatives in Germany. The refusal to issue visas is in contradiction with the aim of the German government to cooperatively inquire into the roots and consequences of German colonialism. The next VAD conference hosted by the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT) 2022 in Freiburg will focus on the theme “Africa and Europe: Reciprocal Perspectives”. Restrictive visa policies are impeding such forms of co-production of knowledge as well as meaningful exchange among researchers and civil society actors across Africa and Europe. In general terms the VAD therefore calls for fair and transparent visa processes. In this concrete case the VAD urges the German embassy in Cameroon to solve the situation swiftly.

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