Created by the President of the Republic, Paul Biya in the wake of the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West Regions, the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism has gained support from within and without the country including international organizations with the latest being the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has given its words to support the National Commission on Bilingualism and Multiculturalism in promoting living together in Cameroon, which to say the least is held dearly in the heart of the Head of State, Paul Biya. Cameroon, with over 250 ethnic groups, has a multiplicity of languages in addition to its two official languages (English and French). Thus, the creation of the Musonge-led Commission by the Head of State in 2017 was indeed timely and lauded in several quarters including international bodies. This is more so because Cameroon, as Africa in miniature, is a melting point of so many languages and cultural diversity.
The decision to stand by the Commission was expressed on July 31, 2018 by Salah Khaled, Director of the Regional office of the UN Agency after meeting with Peter Mafany Musonge, President of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.
The Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaims that “as wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace are equally raised.” Salah Khaled, Director of UNESCO’s multi-sectoral Regional Office for Central Africa, reiterated it during his audience with Peter Mafany Musonge in Yaoundé. The National Commission placed under the authority of the President of the Republic, is responsible for promoting bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon, with a view to maintaining peace, consolidating the country’s national unity and strengthening the will and the daily practice of the living together of its populations. After almost an hour of exchanges with Peter Mafany Musonge, Salah Khaled said the good dispositions of the institution he represents, to accompany Cameroon. “UNESCO is ready to collaborate with the NCPBM especially in the field of promoting cultural diversity. We want to be more partners in designing citizenship educational programs and deepening our knowledge of the country’s history,” the UN official also recalled the expertise of his organization in education. For decades, UNESCO has been publishing volumes of the General History of Africa, written by Africans, which help Africans better understand the history of their continent.
Salah Khaled expressed the wish for the materialization of this type of publications, adapted for Cameroon. This is to allow the different generations to get to know each other better.