Understanding Concept Of National Integration

The purpose of national integration, according to theories and according to political speeches, is to train citizens that are embedded within their culture, respectful of public interest, the common good, ethics and the democratic values, for a harmonious living together and open to the world.

Emmanuel Ngota

In fact, this notion actually designates the processes through which individuals participate in the global society by professional activity, learning about standards of material consumption, adoption of social and cultural types of behaviour, exchange and interaction with others, individually or in groups, participation in common institutions. So the concept does not focus solely on the forms of particular people’s participation in the life of the national community, but also on the evolution of the entire national society. It refers to two avenues for analysis. It may characterize the relations that are created among citizens or their groupings and the national community as whole.

National integration should help every citizen to fulfil him/herself as citizen and to promote the national conscience and the living together. This the manifestation of a strong desire to live a community life in conformity with duties and the moral conscience, which is manifested in inter-individual relations and the activities performed by people. Thus the first integration perspective is the integration into a community or tropic integration, which will lead to examining, not so much the individual processes of integration of « foreigners », but the conditions for their integration. In the second perspective, the integration of a community or systemic integration, the issue will be to focus on the system, that is, on the underlying factors of nationality, without it being necessary to elaborate on the history or the development of the national idea. The national society can therefore be considered as a process of integration of the society by politics and this process, in essence, is never ended. So, there are two requirements for national integration: – A will and an individual initiative to consider others as having the same rights and duties, so as to take up the challenge of living together; – The capacity of the State or the society to consider all citizens on equal terms, to respect the differences and positive particularities of individuals and groups, from which should stem unity. Thus, national integration refers to the notion of national unity ; unity in diversity, but also in complementarity, solidarity and faith in a common destiny transcending all sorts particularities, especially geographical, historical, linguistic, tribal, religious or political. National unity implies that Cameroonians are first of all Cameroonians before being Anglophones or francophone, Christians, Muslims, animists or other. For any non-Cameroonian, the issue would be to integrate into and adapt to the Cameroonian society (integratability of such a person) and, for the State and the society, their capacity to integrate such people. For this reason, integration designates a whole (process), an entity, some synergy. In sociology, integration is an ethnological process which helps a person or a group of persons to become closer to others and become a member of a larger group by adopting its values and the standards of its social system.

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