Bilingualism, Multiculturalism : Practice Rapidly Becoming Source of Pride, Identity
The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism is committed to the respect of the Constitutional provisions that promote living together
President Paul Biya ignited the renewed spirit of patriotism, national cohesion and living together in Cameroonians when he signed decree N° 2017/013 of 23 January 2017 to lay down the establishment, organization and functioning of the National Commission on the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism. The main duties of the commission as defined by the decree set records straight. “Under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Commission shall be responsible for promoting bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon with a view to maintaining peace and consolidating the country’s national unity and strengthening its people’s willingness and day-to-day experience with respect to living together.” The appointment and commissioning of the members of the Commission with former Prime Minister Peter Mafany Musonge as the chairperson, was the beginning of a new era in the practice of bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon. It marked a great departure from the hitherto believe that the practice of bilingualism was optional to the compulsory implementation of the constitutional provision that English and French were Cameroon’s two official languages with equal status. The creation of the commission which came in as a response to discordant voices of division, hatred and tribalism, coupled with secessionists fighting for the separation of the English-speaking North West and South West Regions constitute the solid base for the promotion of Cameroon’s cultural diversity which has to be an asset for the advancement of all Cameroonians.
The Commission members have been working tooth and nail to ensure the proper respect of the country’s bilingual and multicultural nature, especially in public life. Speaking to journalists during the consultations ahead of the national dialogue to mainly resolve the socio-political and security crisis in the North West and South West Regions, the Chairperson of the Commission, Peter Mafany Musonge said, “The Commission has accumulated quite some experience in two and a half years of operation which included going down to 37 ministries and 28 public enterprises and corporations to evaluate the practice of bilingualism. We have led the campaign against the practice of hate speech...
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