Decline in Paul Biya's health strikes alarm amongst inner circle
The 89-year-old Cameroonian head of state has been residing in his native village since the Africa Cup of Nations, but in the past few days he has suffered a series of ailments.
Cameroon's economy and finance ministers must now obtain the approval of the all-powerful presidency's secretary-general Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh for expenses exceeding €150,000. At first glance innocuous, the move is in fact revealing of a power tussle at the head of government.
The Cameroonian presidency's secretary general, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, and the minister of territorial administration, Paul Atanga Nji, form a duo that has become all-powerful at the presidential palace. Their reputation has however been dented due to the chaotic organisation of the African Cup of Nations and the conflict in the country's English-speaking regions.
For many years regulars at the Val de Grace military hospital in Paris, African heads of state are now increasingly likely to get their check-ups in Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Israel rather than checking into a clinic in the French [.
The advancing age of African heads of state, who don’t issue bills of health, gives rise to long-established medical practices and procedures. While a leader’s personal doctors cope with his minor ailments foreign hospitals are much in demand for exhaustive [.