Cameroon Telecommunications Camtel has instituted Wednesdays as “Bilingualism Day” among a series of measures taken by management to promote the two official languages.
The General Manager of Camtel, Judith Yah Sunday Epse Achidi made the announcement at a ceremony on Wednesday May 12, 2021, in Yaoundé. She said the initiative is to have a bilingual staff that reflects the heritage of Cameroon and respects the Constitution of the country, and for Camtel to serve the user in own language of choice. “Every Wednesday, English speaking staff will speak French language while French speaking staff will speak English language”, she said. This initiative adds to the company’s list of efforts to promote the use of both languages. The General Manager said, “The promotion of Bilingualism is a long standing tradition at Camtel.”
She cited the bilingual online portal of the company named “Camtel Gazette” which is in both languages. The bilingual News Magazine of the company called “Camtel Today” and the bilingual weekly radio show of the company dubbed “Camtel Actu” are also some of the efforts. Camtel also has an active Translation, Interpretation, and Bilingualism Promotion unit of the company.
Camtel is also using incentives to motivate staff into using both languages. Judith Yah Sunday announced an in-house Bilingualism competition. Wherein two (2) best staff of bilingualism would be awarded after every four months. Staff can also learn the languages at the linguistic centres dotted across the country thanks to a contract between Camtel and the centres.
Camtel is implementing the recommendations of the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism NCPBM after officials of the Peter Mafany Musonge led commission visited the company in 2020, to score level of bilingualism.
The Canadian High Commissioner Richard Bell, a success story of a bilingual country attended the ceremony. Alongside the Director of the Yaoundé Pilote Linguistic Centre and representative of the Musonge Commission.