Fostering co-existence in Cameroon

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The VC,staff and students during the conference

Panelist share their views in conference

Dschang, SIC/UDs-08/02/17.The University of Dschang through the Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences FLSH/UDs on the 8th of February 2017 organized a conference with theme Unity and diversity: diverse views on the co-existence in Cameroon”. The round table conference which marked the beginning of a series of conferences for the year began at 10.50 at the University auditorium. During the conference graced by the presence of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Roger Tsafack Nanfosso, students from the departments of FLSH had the opportunity to get didactic talks from seasoned lecturers about the multilingual diversity situation of an emerging Cameroon.

Panelists present thier view points during the round table conference

Moderated by Prof. Robert Fotsing Mangoua a scientific coordinator of the Dschang School of arts, the floor was given to the first speaker Prof. Loius Bertin Amougou, specialist in Literatures and cultures. Prof Amougou in his expose with theme, essay on the definition and conditions of harmonious co-existence made it clear that a change of paradigm and socialization were pre requisites for co-existence. He decried some actions of some social groups who have failed to play their roles to ensure better co-existence. With the assurance that decision makers could play a better role in mending social co-existence, Prof Amougou ended his essay quoting Martin Luther King ‘Nous devons apprendre a vivre comme les frère si non nous alons mourirr comme les idiots’. ‘We need to learn to live together like brothers if not we will die like idiots’. The next speaker, Prof Alawadi Zelao, specialist in political sociology gave a word on the theme the ethnical dynamics and anthropology in the construction of the nation. In his expose he gave a map on ethno politics in Cameroon and went further to trace the diversity nature of Cameroon as far back as 1960-1972 that was much more like juxtaposition, 1982-1990 with the implementation of national integration and 1990 to present day with focus on ethnic groups. Prof Zelao equally shared facts about similarities in cultures which have anthropological links sadly at times unjustified by quarrels. However, in his closing words Prof Zelao made it clear that diversity is a gift which Cameroonians must work upon to embrace. The expose session was crowned by Prof Nforbi Emmanuel, specialist in linguistics and languages who shared on the theme bilingualism and multilingualism, Institutional cornerstone for a beneficial living in Cameroon’. After giving statistical data to prove multilingualism with 2/3 of the 7097 languages in the world from African countries, Prof Nforbi’s focus was how Cameroon could cordially manage its 280 languages. With the bilingual nature of the country he revealed the speed at which the francophones are embracing the English language. Prof Nforbi ended in hope calling on political powers to meet some linguist to build a positive linguistic policy.

After the rich exposes, a question and answer session followed during which participants received satisfactory answers for their questions. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Tsafack Nanfosso in his closing remarks praised the lecturers and students for their laudable efforts. He promised that the enriching activity will henceforth be on a monthly basis and will act as a forum to develop current issues and increase knowledge. A feeling of satisfaction characterized the conference and there is hope that this will greatly foster the excellent spirit encouraged at UDs./ GC.

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