Understanding Confusion in Africa
272 Pages
English
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Understanding Confusion in Africa

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Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
272 Pages
English

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Cameroon is often considered to be Africa�s legendary pathfinder. This book argues essentially that Cameroon cannot competently champion African unity and progress until it can correctly pursue its own multicultural nation-building. Cameroon's success continental-wise would depend on its theory and practice of multiculturalism, as particularly reflected in (1) the rejoicing in its historical diversity and the harmonious co-existence of its Systems of Education which must, of necessity, be linked to (2) effective federalization or decentralization of uniquely cultural matters. Critically examining history and education as components of culture, and therefore, of multiculturalism, the book makes some bold recommendations while demonstrating how nation-building is meaningless without the people�s authentic history. It argues that Cameroon national culture cannot be a national culture without embodying the distinct culture of the English-speaking minority. Anything else is nothing but deliberate confusion of assimilation for multiculturalism, a confusion that is heavily tied to the country�s phoney independence. Hinging on education (and its associates of bilingualism and bijuralism), the book demonstrates that Cameroon�s over-sung cultural dualism is a charade, epitomized by the 1998 Education Law. Rather than reaffirm Cameroon�s biculturalism as it superficially avows, Cameroon�s purported cultural dualism is really out to efface any semblance of cultural or educational dualism that may still be resisting assimilation. The continuous and persistent employment of terms such as biculturalism, bilingualism and bijuralism in legal texts in Cameroon is only to confuse the international community, especially from seeing exactly the kind of �ethnic cleansing� which is taking place in the country.

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Published 17 February 2013
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EAN13 9789956790623
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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Understanding Confusion in Africa: The Politics of Multiculturalism and Nation-Building in Cameroon Peter Ateh-Afac FossunguL a ng a a R esea rch & P u blishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaa-rpcig.net Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookcollective.com ISBN: 9956-728-53-5 ©Peter Ateh-Afac Fossungu 2013
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
Table of Contents Introduction…………………………………………………….. vii Cameroon and Africa…………………………………………. vii Book’s Driving Forces and Importance……………………….. viii Central Arguments…………………………………………….. xi Chapter 1: Advanced Multiculturalism and the February Story: The Politics of National (Dis) Unity in the Hinge of Africa………………………………………………………...1Issues Experts Want Addressed………………………………. 1 Advanced Multiculturalism and the Palm Wine School………. 8 Defining Culture………………………………………………. 13 Is Culture without History Culture?........................................... 16 The February Story: Disuniting by Uniting?................................ 19 The Intimacy of the 1972 and 1984 Name-Changes………….. 22 Disuniting by Uniting One History/Culture?............................. 28 The 1984 Name or History Case………………………………33 The 1985/83 Education Case…………………………………. 42 Chapter 2: The Perfect Nation Is an Anathema to Multiculturalism……………………………………………… 57 (The Usual) Democracy and Collective Participation…………. 58 Kontchoumeterized Participation and the Case of the Educational Systems……………………………………………………….. 61 Minority Politics and Self-Determination in a Unitary Centralized State?......................................................................................... 62 Minority Exchange……………………………………………..68 The Territory and Population of the Minority………………… 74 The Educational Systems are Different but Not Different and at War?........................................................................................... 84 The Constitution and the Education Domain………………… 86 The Philosophy of the Education Law…………………………89
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Chapter 3: The One-Party System (Or ‘Pluralistic Democracy’)Is an Abomination to Multiculturalism………………………105 Monosity: A Prerequisite for ‘Pluralistic Democracy’?................ 105 Sexing Patriotism and Equality: The Illustrative Case of 1997 Legislative and Presidential Elections………………………… 109 The 1990 Multipartism Law and the Irreplaceable One-Party System………………………………………………………… 115 On the Justification of the Single-Party State…………………. 117 Deconstructing the Multipartism Law…………………………. 124 Chapter 4: Colonialism and the Leadership Mess in Africa: When History is Not Historical – From Cameroon to Njangawatar?.............................................................................. 135 On the Importance of History to Development………………..136 Theories Drawn from the Name-Changing Justifications……... 143 From Cameroon to Njangawatar?............................................... 144 “Intellectuals in Politics”: Questioning the Discoverer Theory?....................................................................................... 146 From Pidgin to Njangawatok?.................................................... 155 From Victoria to Limbe: Biculturalism in Cameroon?................. 160 From Bilingualism/Bijuralism to Ngoa-lingualism/ Unijuralism……………………………………………………. 162 Purpose and Objectives of Education plusEpsi As Preventing Biculturalism………………………………………………….. 168 Chapter 5: Leadership Non-Charisma and Non-Challenge of Historic Trivia: The Uniting of One History Is Why Cameroon Is not Championing in the DevelopmentBusinessin Africa 187 Understanding the Political Economy of Cameroon 188 Original Quality of Cameroon’s Environment 192 The Natural Qualities of the Cameroon People 194 Health and Intelligence in Development in Cameroon 197 Confusioncracy Passing for Balanced Development 199 The Anglophone Factor and Absence of Known Rules 201 iv
Turning the English-Speaking into the French…………………203 Operating Without Local Governments and an Independent Umpire………………………………………………………... 211 Stifling Industrialization………………………………………. 217 Developing with Confusing and Incomplete Rules and Laws…. 220 The Role of Agriculture and Poverty………………………… 224 Closing Observation………………………………………….. 228 Conclusion……………………………………………………..233References…………………………………………………….. 239
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Introduction
Cameroon and Africa Variously known as ‘Africa in Miniature’, ‘Africa's Promised Land’, ‘Paradise in Africa’, ‘the hinge of Africa’, ‘the microcosm of Africa’, etc., Johnson (1970: vii) thinks that a study of Cameroon, though an examination of a single case provides us with issues that are relevant to all of Africa, indeed, to most of the new states of the world. This is even the more so as Africa hinges on Cameroon in an assortment of ways that the country is “sometimes referred to as the hinge of 1 Africa.” It is then the strong belief of several nation-building experts that Cameroon currently ought to be far ahead in terms of (1) development in all its ramifications and (2) materially and spiritually helping other Africans to advance. For example, Mbuy (1996) has interpreted the September 1995 papal visit to Yaounde to launch Ecclesia In Africa“entrusting the spiritual leadership of the as continent into the hands of Cameroon” because “[t]his is the first time in Church History that a document of such magnitude is signed outside the Vatican. Yet it happened in Yaounde, Cameroon.” In addition, the numerous gestures of “continental leadership that Cameroon is receiving in a space of less than one year”, according to Reverend Mbuy, only confirm “the future of Africa under our leadership.” What is also more striking, the cleric concludes, is the fact that even the politicians of Africa did the same by conferring the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) Chairmanship in 1996 upon Cameroon's President Paul Biya. Since 1996, Cameroonians, “convinced that the salvation of Africa lies in forging ever-growing bonds of solidarity among African People, affirm our desire to contribute to the advent of a united and
1  CIA,The World Factbook, available at http://www.compufix.demon.co.uk/camweb (page 2) (last visited in August 2011). vii
2 free Africa.” On the formation of the Federal Republic of 3 Cameroon (hereinafter FRC ) in Foumban in 1961, Benjamin (1972: 126) also cites the claim from former President Amadou Ahidjo in L’UintéNº 64 (6 octobre 1961) that the new Cameroon state was to be a real laboratory for an African Union, bringing together all the English-speaking and French-speaking countries of the continent and that in this noble task the imperative leadership role of Cameroon did not need to be overemphasized. The graphical question has then been: Is the Cameroon leadership up to the continental leadership task? In other words, how can Cameroon possibly unite and lead Africa when it cannot even correctly engage in nation-building itself? Book’s Driving Forces and ImportanceQuestions prompting this study are as numerous as the several subtle ways of ‘intellectually’ perpetrating the Foumban ‘Historyless’ Darkness in Cameroon – a strategy that can hardly help those who are now trying to understand what had actually happened to put them in the situation in which they find themselves today. They have to be told the truth for a number of sane reasons. First, I think the lay persons deserve to know from the intellectuals why their country is not working as others they find around them; and that intellectuals that cannot tell them the truth do not deserve to be intellectuals to begin with because I am made to know that the role of the 4 intellectual (whatever the sex of this Janus ) is to shed light (and not
2 Loi Nº 96-06 du 18 janvier 1996 portant révisionde la Constitution du 02 juin 1972nd (hereinafter 1996 Constitutionparagraph).), Preamble (2 3 SeeLoi Nº 61-24 du 1er septembre 1961 portantrévision constitutionnelle et tendant à adapter la constitution actuelle aux nécessités du Cameroun réunifié(hereinafter Federal Constitution). 4  “I will consider to be an intellectual,” Lantum (1991: 20) has very chauvinistically and in a conjuring manner told the questioning youths, “someone with a developed inquisitive and critical mind who applies his [a female can never be an intellectual then?] mind or intellect as rationally and objectively as possible, with full sense of responsibility to illuminate his milieu with the improvement of viii
to engender darkness) on the issues, controversial as they may be. This is not what generally holds in Cameroon, and the point might have been reached when/where this pitiful trend has to be contained, if not completely excluded. Second and intimately tied to the foregoing, it is by properly comprehending what indeed went wrong (authentic history) that the youths can be properly educated to avoid repeating or committing the same errors, especially in the new political society that Cameroonians in particular and Africans generally are now clamouring for. It is in this vein that the present study has undertaken the task of throwing some light on the darkness created in this continent (that is often, wrongly or correctly, referred to as The Dark Continent) by the “intellectuals in politics”. A critical and provocative review of the existing politics of history and of education is thus imperative in understanding Africa’s multicultural nation-building or development – a conception about which there is much confusion engendered by the “intellectuals in politics”, this vague phrase being also shown in this contribution as meant to further confuse the issues. Third, Cameroon is unique on the African continent for countless reasons. One interesting area of this uniqueness concerns the remarkable historical influences that it has been subjected to, thus making the country a likely and captivating focus for studying federalism, multiculturalism and many other multi-isms. In other words, these characteristics should naturally make Cameroon the placepar excellencethe federal structure would not only be where dutifully instituted but, above all, also very religiously defended. But is that really it? This critical and provocative focus on the country’s politics of history and of education as they impact on national unity would greatly aid in the search for answers. At this juncture, it can be safely stated that the politics of multiculturalism (seen through history and education) in Cameroon is simply that of assimilation and
the common good of humanity as his or her [where isshenow from?] goal.” More of such sexist exclusions would be found in Chapter 3. ix