The name Mamfe came from the use of the word Mamfieh in the local dialect.
The first inhabitants of Mamfe are the Small Mamfe. Their first settlement is in the upper confluence between the Manyu and the Badi rivers. They are reported to have been prey to several wild animals and their children victims to drowning. Hence, they decided to cross the Manyu River to settle on the current site in Small Mamfe.
The Mamfe Rural Council
The Council started around 1917 and was called Mamfe Native Authority (NA). Comprised of present day Nguti, Fontem, Widikum, Akwaya, Eyumojock, Tinto and Mamfe Central Councils. It later became Mamfe Area Council. In 1978 when Eyumojock was created it became Mamfe Rural Council (M.R.C). Tinto became separate in 1995. Before 1995, the government appointed the Municipal Administrators. It is in 1995 that elections of Mayors came up. Thus Mayor Ayuk Emmanuel Ako was the first elected Mayor of Mamfe Rural Council 1995 – 2002, followed by Mayor Arrey Eyong Ashu form 2002 – Present.
Due to the philanthropic, pragmatic and charismatic spirit of the present administration the following achievements were recorded:
• The Council assisted in the organisation of social and economic groups.
• Renovated the Council infrastructure and slaughter-house.
• Privatized income generating activities and raised the Council administrative accounts from 24 million to 180 million.
• Created employment opportunities for 22 new Council Staffs.
• Built thirty five (35) culverts and bridges and opened up 33 Km of road to link Mamfe and its environs.
• Mamfe is connected to the rest of the world through internet and mobile telephone network.
“Poverty is an insult, poverty stinks. It demeans, dehumanises, destroys the body and the mind … if not the soul. It is the deadliest form of violence, worse of all, poverty persists and outlives even the most imaginative strategies to alleviate it.”
This administration intends to;
• Increase access and reliability of safe water supply at affordable cost i.e. construct community public standpipes.
• Cut down the incidence of malaria and HIV/AIDS.
• Reduce congestion and overcrowding in central market and Lorry Park.
• Improve on the accessibility of areas occupied by the poor.
• Improve on the physical environment and on working areas.
• Improve on the physical state of schools; reduce the disparity between schools.
• Increase the stock of houses for the poor.
• Integration of women and vulnerable groups to improve upon their security and participation in good governance.
• Build market shades for Eyanchang and Eshobi villages.
• Build a monument “WELCOME TO MAMFE” at the entrance of Mamfe.
• Organise capacity building workshops for Council Staffs.
• Improve farm to market roads.
• Open new streets.
• Rehabilitate the main market.
Mamfe town is bordered towards Besongabang by a small stream
(Monyen), towards the Kumba road by the Badi River, Okoyong, and towards
Egbekaw by the Brasseries warehouse near the Gendarmeries post.
The native population (the Banyang) is estimated at 70% of the total population of the Mamfe Rural Council, followed by the Ejagham with 20% and the Bokis 10%. The other groups in that order are the Anyang, the groups from the North West Province, Nigeria, the Bamouns and the Bamilekes. The relationship between the native and non-native group is cordial, hence contributing to the current socio-economic development of the area.
MAMFE IN RETROSPECT
• Before the early 1940’s Mamfe was only accessible from the Atlantic Coast by water and from the hinterlands on foot.
• At the end of the Second World War, Mamfe was linked to Nigeria, Bamenda and Kumba by motorable roads. This ushered in the decline of Mamfe as it lost its international trade function to Tiko and Victoria (Limbe).
• Mamfe became an important nodal commercial centre between Nigeria and the rest of Cameroon.
• A becoming economy of the sixties, which was characterised by a buoyant river port, John Holt Beach with warehouse facilities, and the United African Company (UAC).
• Centre for National Conference e.g. 1957 Mamfe Conference
• Fruits (Oranges)
• Foodstuff (garri, yams, plantains)
• Timber and non timber products (Eru, cane ropes etc.)
• Cocoa and coffee
• Bush meat
• Oil palm and by-products
• Absence of industries in the Municipality,
• Low quality services and inadequate economic infrastructures
• Know-how and modern technology are not sufficiently utilised.
• Credit schemes are not developed for all sectors of the economy.
• Agriculture is practiced on subsistence basis.
• Existing markets in border areas are not well organised.
• UN-Habitat Nairobi and supported by UNDP, Yaounde
• Mamfe Rural Council is seeking for partners both at home and abroad, to partner with and grease the development process of the area.
The Banyangi would like to be identified by his/her;
• German Bridge
• German Graves
• UAC (John warehouses facilities)
• Beaches (Egbekaw /John Holt)
• Reunification Roundabout
• Sand Beaches
• Rock Scenery.