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Bilingualism commission installed today

Members of the newly-created national commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism have been installed. The commission created by…

Members of the newly-created national commission for the promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism have been installed.

The commission created by a presidential decree of January 23, 2017, will have to among other things ensure that the bilingual nature of the country functions well, without one overriding the other; and that all the cultures of the country are harnessed and upheld.

Going by official sources, President Biya created the commission to reinforce Cameroon’s unique identity in the African continent. Cameroon stands out privileged amidst other countries within and without Africa, with English and French as Cameroon’s two official languages – with equal status, and over 250 national languages.

According to the missions assigned to the Commission, members will work to reinforce national unity and national integration. The team headed by Peter Mafany Musonge will not only strengthen existing bilingualism (official languages of English and French) but will as well uphold the rich and diverse cultures of the country in the bid to wipe out the sense and feeling of superiority or inferiority that greatly frustrates the essence of living together. It is hoped that Cameroonians from all backgrounds will be expected to feel important through the commission, have a sense of belonging and hopefully jointly contribute to the social, political, cultural and economic development of the country.
The Commission will also have to complement the work of other existing structures created to champion bilingualism and multiculturalism in the country like the pilot linguistic centres and the ministry of arts and culture.  While the Commission would be working to live up to these expectations, other segments of society, notably the private sector, are expected to chip in contributions for collective success.  Pundits believe promoting bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon cannot solely be an affair of government.

The presidential decree creating the commission however states that in no way and on no occasion shall the Commission be responsible for regulating political problems. “The commission will work to ensure harmonious promotion and respect of cultures where all feel proud and useful for an indivisible Cameroon” the decree reads.

 

 

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