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For a Better Cameroon : Patriotism and national integration

Youths in Cameroon will this year celebrate their day under the theme “Youth patriotism and the promotion of national integration”.

The theme of this year’s youth day celebration was revealed in a release signed by the minister of Civic education and Youth affaires, Bidoung Mpkatt, last Monday January 20, 2014.  
Chosen by the head of State President Paul Biya, this year’s theme falls in line with the international Colloquium organized in July last year, on the theme “Civic Education and National Integration”,  in Yaoundé. One of the objectives of the colloquium was developing in a participatory manner, strategies and mechanisms that will cultivate in all Cameroonians, the civic and patriotic spirit and promote harmonious living. Organized by Cameroon’s Ministry of Civic Education and Youth Affairs, under the patronage of President Paul Biya, the forum was a leap forward in efforts aimed at instilling the spirit of civic education and national integration in people. Many expressed the hope that the discussions would strengthen the spirit of love and patriotism among not only youths but Cameroonians as a whole.
A charter on civil education and national integration had to be adopted after the forum to help enforce the rule of law, the respect of moral values, respect for human rights, love and patriotism among Cameroonian youth in particular. According to Ndzo Augustine Kum, Director of civic education and national integration at the Ministry of Civic Education and Youth Affaires, “the choice of this year’s theme falls in line with a couple of recommendations and resolutions arrived at after the international colloquium that held last year. Youths are the leaders of tomorrow and therefore occupy a central position in the development vision of our nation. That is why they have to showcase their love for our fatherland and that is where patriotism comes in. They have to show respect for general interests, state property while adopting and practicing the cultures of peace, ethics, democratic values and harmonious living”.Meanwhile, many still have last year’s theme in mind which was, “Youth: Civic Responsibility and Participation in the Development Process” it is worth noting that President Biya on the eve of the day decried falling moral standards amongst youths.
“It suffices to read the newspaper titbits to realize this. Well, may be the behaviour of some youths is to some extent only a reflection of our society.” President Biya said. He went on to say there was no excuse for bad conduct and unpatriotic behavior. “In fact, even if we succeed in improving the living standards of our population, ensuring the proper functioning of our democratic institutions, and maintaining peace and stability in our country, the peaceful and prosperous society we want to build will be undermined from within if such achievements are not backed by improved public morality”. It is for this reason that he urged youths to adopt morally upright and responsible behavior. “Youths must have a patriotic spirit to be able to love their fellow brothers, respect state property and emblems and thereby facilitating national integration” Ndzo Augustine stressed. For there to be national integration, he added, youths have to be tolerant, take into consideration the cultures of others from other regions of the country.
To him, someone from the North region should feel at home if he finds himself in the West, South or North West regions. To equally highlight our national integration, the bilingualism of the country ought to be taken seriously, with youths from youths from French speaking regions being able to speak the English language and vice versa.It won’t be too much to ask for those aspiring to be leaders of tomorrow to strive to build an attractive Cameroon united in its diverse cultures.

Claudette Chin

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