By Cynthia Efopa
At the dawn of the celebration of its National Day, Cameroon join the world to commemorate the International Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development. This day is timely as it comes to remind Cameroonians that cultural diversity is an indispensable asset for sustainable development. It is a driving force for development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of living a more fulfilling, intellectual, emotional and moral life.
During the match past that was presided by the Head of State President Paul Biya in Yaounde, the youths carried a panoply of banners on which was written strong and explicit messages to promote cultural diversity, peaceful coexistence, togetherness, national unity and progress. The majorette groups in their different styles and matching steps demonstrated the varied traditional dances of the Cameroon cultural landscape. From North to South and from East to West Cameroon counts more than two hundred and fifty traditional languages which is as varied as the cultures, the peoples, and their staple diets.
Public policies in Cameroon have been tailored in such a manner that each and every body is implicated in one way or the other in contributing to nation building, though it is not often easy to bring everybody on board. Going by the fact that perfection is not of this world, the government is leaving no stone unturned to see to it that the present socio political crisis rocking the South West and North West regions on grounds of imbalance in the recognition of cultural identity finds solution through dialogue, for diversity have always been a positive prosperity factor for the Cameroon society. The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism which was created at the peak and as one of the solutions to the problem have been to the thirty seven ministerial departments to address the balance practice of bilingualism for the good of all. The president of the Commission Peter Mafany Musonge said they have told ministries concerned to respect the equality of the both official languages in the conduct of official businesses.
The day therefore provides an opportunity to deepen understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO convention which is aimed at supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture, achieve a balance flow of cultural goods and services and increase mobility of artists and cultural professionals, integrating culture in sustainable development frameworks and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. This will indeed bring about a diversity advantage and unite citizens around shared values.