Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cameroon Link At Ethiopian International Writers Conference

James Achanyi-Fontem,
CEO Cameroon Link

President, Cameroon Writers Association
Afutendem Lucas Nkwetta of University of Dschang, in the west region of Cameroon sat in for Cameroon Link, pilot of the Cameroon Writers Association,CWA, during the International Conference of African Writers held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May, 2011. The central goal of the conference was to invigorate the minds of African youths and to instigate African writers to bring forth ideas and experiences stored in their minds so that they may share it with the youth of Africa for contributing original ideas to facilitate the growth and development of the continent.
The Conference has brought together prominent and renowned literary men and women of Africa together and the Conference organizers wanted to ensure that the African spirit of indomitability is extended to bringing cultural, popular, intellectual, and economic unity to Africa’s rich, diverse and large continent.
The Conference was designed with the promising hope that the views and visions that the distinguished guests took to the conference in Addis Ababa will throw more light into the minds of Africans to cultivate positive and rewarding conceptualizations of self.
The Conference was organized by a Steering Committee consisting of the Ethiopian Writers Association, the Secretary General of the Academy of the Ethiopian Languages and Cultures, and the Director of the Institute of African Studies of the Addis Ababa University. The Organizing Committee
was given the responsibility to take care of all the nitty gritty details and logistics of making the Conference successful. In order to accomplish its tasks, it organized itself into five Activating Committees caring for Logistics, Fundraising, Communications, Publications and Programming.
Like all big ventures, the main problem was getting in touch with participants, and getting the necessary funding to run the Conference. It was finally possible to contact the General Secretary of PAWA (Pan-African Writers Association), Prof. AtukweiOkai in Accra, Ghana and together, they succeeded in bringing together a wonderful group of distinguished participants, who presented more than forty papers in two days from May 2-4, 2011.
The major areas covered by the papers are African Literature, African Languages, and African Politics, Culture and Philosophy. The ideas expressed in the various papers were reported to have fulfilled the main goal of the Conference as indicated above. Participants hoped that such Conferences will continue at reasonable intervals so that they may bear fruits, and that African ideas may be able to serve as a source of solutions for most of the ills and problems that plague our global village and our continent. Throughout their stay in Ethiopia, the conference participants gave careful thought on how to further follow up and resolve the continent’s issues and different African Writers Associations were tasked to expand the fraternal spirit in the different countries.
This Conference would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of higher Government Officials, including the President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. President GirmaWolde-Giorgis who received the conference guests in a presidential dinner, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Ato. MelesZenawi, Mayor of Addis Ababa, H.E. Ato. KumaDemeksa, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Government Communications Office Minister, H.E. Ato. Bereket Simeon and all Federal Regional Government State Offices. Also, this Conference would not have been possible without the financial support received from Sheik Mohammed Alamud in, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Ethiopian Development Bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and Prince Beide Mariam Mekonnnen (Wabe Shebelle Hotel). The organizers of the international conference have expressed thanks ang gratitude to the following institutions of higher education: Addis Ababa University, Axum University, Bahir Dar University, Dilla University, Haromaya University, Hawasa University, Gondar University, Jijiga University, Mekelle University and Jimma University for their support in organizing a nationwide cultural and university tour for the participants who came from all over Africa including Cameroon.
The following institutions were also an invaluable support to the organization: AIDS Resources Center, MGTour and Travel, Awash Bank, Abay Bank, Abyssinia Bank, Ethiopian Postal Services and NOC. Ethiopia has several branches of Writers Association for national work and cooperation.
The Cameroon Writers Association through Cameroon Link expresses sincere thanks and gratitude to their fraternal brothers and sisters of the Pan African Writers Association, PAWA, piloted by Professor AtukweiOkai in Accra, Ghana and the Ethiopian Writers Association of Dr. AwolEndris and SefanitMesfin for extending an invitation to Cameroon through the Cameroon Writers Association and Cameroon Link.

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