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Understanding Confusion in Africa

The Politics of Multiculturalism and Nation-building in Cameroon

Peter Ateh-Afac Fossungu

Publication Year: 2013

Cameroon is often considered to be Africaís 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 peopleís 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 countryís phoney independence. Hinging on education (and its associates of bilingualism and bijuralism), the book demonstrates that Cameroonís over-sung cultural dualism is a charade, epitomized by the 1998 Education Law. Rather than reaffirm Cameroonís biculturalism as it superficially avows, Cameroonís 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 ëethnic cleansingí which is taking place in the country.

Published by: African Books Collective


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3


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pp. iii-vi

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pp. vii-xii

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...

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Chapter 1: Advanced Multiculturalism and The February Story: The Politics Of National (Dis) Unity In The Hinge Of Africa

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pp. 1-60

Were anyone capable of exactly visualizing the African continent as a single unitary centralized State, they would have very accurately envisioned the Federal Republic of Cameroon (hereinafter FRC) or the Republic of Cameroon and thus also spelt an end to this modest book. The book must proceed however not only because the...

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Chapter 2: The Perfect Nation is an Anathema to Multiculturalism

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pp. 61-110

The President cannot be seriously regretting the existence of these forms of injustice in the Cameroonian society when he is tenaciously clinging to the root cause of the same – the perfect nation. On 6 November 1982 Biya, who since 1975 was President Ahidjo’s Prime Minister, became the president of Cameroon by...

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Chapter 3: The One-Party System (Or ‘Pluralistic Democracy’) Is an Abomination to Multiculturalism

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pp. 111-140

Paul Biya, according to Fohtung (1995) and Ahidjo (1996), had spent so many ‘patriotic’ years of his shadowy life in some of the highest offices of Cameroon, pretending to be something else so as to get to this almighty POR position in which, with the mere stroke of his pen, he can secure the hanging of his predecessor as well as decree his...

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Chapter 4: Colonialism And The Leadership Mess In Africa: When History Is Not Historical – From Cameroon To Njangawatar?

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pp. 141-192

People’s culture must, of course, embody their history and vice versa. Hopefully there must be substantial, if not general, agreement on this. We have seen Lantum (1991) largely praising the efforts of the ‘Intellectuals in Politics’ who brought forth the current State of Cameroon now under review. As it happens too often in Cameroon...

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Chapter 5: Leadership Non-Charisma and Non-Challenge of Historic Trivia: The Uniting Of One History Is Why Cameroon Is Not Championing In the Development Business in Africa

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pp. 193-238

This Chapter critically examines the human factor as it impacts Cameroon’s political economy; showing that the country is blessed with everything required for speedy and sustainable development but for the lack of intelligent, efficient and patriotic managers. It starts by generally surveying the natural qualities of Cameroonians, spiced with

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pp. 239-244

The politics of history and of education has been studied here to make the point on pointless multiculturalism and camouflaged national unity and integration in multicultural Africa. Genuine multiculturalism requires the constitution capturing what Cameroonians, for instance, represent as a country and what they desire to become as a people. This is however not what is in place in...


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pp. 245-256

Back Cover

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p. 272-272

E-ISBN-13: 9789956790623
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956728534

Page Count: 270
Publication Year: 2013