Archbishop in Cameroon Known for the Practice of Herbalism Receives State Recognition

Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala Archdiocese recognised by Paul Biya. Credit: NECC

A Catholic Archbishop in Cameroon known for the practice of herbalism has been recognised by the President of the Central African nation.

In a decree issued Tuesday, November 21, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Cameroon’s Douala Archdiocese who has practiced herbalism for over 30 years was “exceptionally promoted to the rank of Officer of the Order of the Valor.”

In the decree, Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, directs the Grand Chancellor of National Orders to execute the decision.

The Order of Valour is conferred upon Cameroonian citizens for meritorious services rendered to the nation. Members of the Order are required to have served for a minimum of 20 years as civil servants, or for 25 years as professionals with exceptional contributions in the fields of arts, science, agriculture, commerce, or industry.

Recognized for this efforts for peace in Cameroon, Archbishop Kleda has been vocal in calling the attention of the government to the protracted Anglophone crisis in the Central African nation.


In July, he called on the government to commit to resolving the conflict, as innocent people are being killed as a result of the crisis.

“The crisis in the English-Speaking regions of Cameroon has not yet been resolved,” the Cameroonian Catholic Archbishop said July 2, and added, “The Cameroon government should profoundly reflect on this crisis and commit to resolving it.”

The 64-year-old Catholic Archbishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 2001 as Bishop of Cameroon’s Batouri Diocese challenged the government to play its role of ensuring that “citizens live in peace everywhere for we have a country where we can all live in peace.” 

Cameroon’s English-speaking regions plunged into conflict in 2016 after a protest by lawyers and teachers turned violent. An armed movement of separatists claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia emerged following the government’s crackdown on protesters. 

School boycotts have become common in these areas, as have enforced moratoriums on public life known as "ghost towns".

More in Africa

In his March 2022 pastoral letter, Archbishop Kleda decried bad governance and corruption in the Central African nation and called upon those practicing the vices to seek conversion.

“Our country is being badly beaten, stripped of its wealth, its dignity, its honor, its human and natural resources, and is in agony, because of the bad governance organized by its own sons and daughters,” he lamented in his 2 March 2022 Pastoral letter.

The previous year, in August 2021, the Catholic Archbishop who is a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) expressed concerns about what he said seems to be indications of declining moral values in Cameroon.

Archbishop Kleda received extensive media visibility in Cameroon in 2020 for administering herbal medicine to COVID-19 patients.

The Archbishop who has been at the helm of Douala Archdiocese since November 2009 had interviews with State-owned media outlets that had largely ignored him in the past following his stance on good governance, transparent elections and the defence of the poor and downtrodden.


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.