by Fonban Emmanuel
The National Assembly of Cameroon on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 began the second phase of their annual capacity building programme at the African Institute of Computer Science located at Nkol Anga’a on the outskirt of Yaounde.
The opening ceremony of the second phase of the program was presided over by the first Vice President of the National Assembly Hon Etong Hilarion who was sitting in for the speaker, the Rt Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril. Present in the opening ceremony were some members of government, the representatives of the bilingualism commission, and some parliamentarians who were present to give value to the event.
The second phase which was officially launched on August 18, 2020 is expected to run till September 24, 2020 with a target of equipping about 100 cadres and improving their performances.
Addressing the participants at the opening ceremony, Hon Hilarion said “workers of any public administration do not only need to be bilingual in order to meet the demands of our times, they also need and must, above all, fully comply with the relevant provisions of our constitution in its section 1(3)…”
Quoting from section 1(3) of the constitution which reads, “the official languages of the Republic of Cameroon shall be English and French, both languages having equal status. The state shall guarantee the promotion of bilingualism throughout the country. It shall endeavor to protect and promote national languages”, the Hon Hilarion explained the relevance of bilingualism to the staff of the national assembly.
Talking for the President of the Commission for Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, Peter Mafany Musonge, Benjamin Itoe, a commission’s member who represented his boss, Musonge said the capacity building program is in conformity with their aspirations at the bilingualism commission.
“There have been some expectations for English and French to be put on the center for it to translate into reality, the constitutional provisions of the equality of English and French as it is used in our administrations and our entire territory. If we as a commission see an initiative like this taken by the National Assembly, we welcome it very much. We have also expressed the wish that other government bodies should come up with initiatives like this, in order to ensure that English and French are the real official languages in this country and that they have equality of status” said Benjamin Itoe, Representative of the President of the Bilingualism commission.
While launching the programme, Hon Hilarion called on the staff participating on this program to be proactive and attentive to the teachings. He concluded by thanking the African Institute of Computer Science which offered their premises and technical services as well as the Pilot Linguistic Center for supporting the process.