By James Mukoh
A three-day International Colloquium on the theme “Civic Education and National Integration: Stakes, Challenges and Perspectives for an Emerging Cameroon” which started Monday July 8, ended July 10 with the adoption of a reference guide to Civic Education and National Integration.
The forum was organized by Cameroon’s Ministry of Civic Education and Youth Affairs with the objective of ‘developing, in a participatory manner, strategies and mechanisms that will cultivate in all Cameroonians, the civic and patriotic spirit and promote harmonious living'.
The forum, which took place at the Yaoundé Conference Centre, under the patronage of Cameroon’s Head of State Paul Biya, was opened by Premier Philemon Yang, who expressed the hope that the discussions would strengthen the spirit of love and patriotism among Cameroonians.
The colloquium was variously described as a leap forward in efforts aimed at instilling the spirit of civic education and national integration in people.
Youth from over 20 commonwealth Countries participated in colloquium .Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba delivered a speech at the forum sharing with participants the Commonwealth values
Before coming to Cameroon for the forum, Mrs Masire-Mwamba reportedly described Cameroon as a valued member of the Commonwealth, and congratulated the country for organizing the forum.
“The Commonwealth places strong emphasis on civil efforts and civic education as a means to foster national cohesion, which is a key ingredient for promoting peace, democracy, development and respect for diversity,” the Deputy Secretary-General said in a statement.
She added: “Through the seminal work of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, practical toolkits for promoting harmonious living in diverse societies were identified. We believe that the findings of the Commission, particularly the focus on the role of young people and civic education can complement the excellent efforts that Cameroon has set in motion through this national integration process.”
It is hoped that the charter adopted on civil education and national integration at the forum , would help enforce the rule of law, the respect of moral values, respect for human rights,love and patriotism among Cameroonian youth in particular and youth in general.
(First Published In The Recorder Newspaper,Cameroon,of July 11,2013)