Harmonization and Capacity Building Workshop of the Fulfulde, Hausa and Setswana Vehicular Cross-Border Languages
ACALAN organised five regional conferences between 2006 and 2009, which identified forty-one (41) Vehicular Cross-border Languages. Out of these languages, twelve were chosen for the first phase of ACALAN’s operation. Regional Operational Workshops were consequently held in West and Southern Africa with the collaboration of the of the Regional Economic Communities and the Ministries of Culture, to establish Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions, as one of its working structures at grass-root. ACALAN would establish the remaining Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions in the other Economic regions on the continent.
Planning Workshops of priority areas to guide the activities of the Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions during their three years mandate followed the operational workshop. It is in this context that ACALAN decided to organise the capacity building workshop in question. The workshop was possible thanks to the financial support of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It brought together members of the Setswana Commission in Southern Africa, and the Fulfulde and Hausa Commissions in West Africa.
The workshop aimed at fashioning out strategies for monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the Commissions throughout their three year tenure. It equally intended to achieve unified and coordinated programmes in relation to the role of the commissions as one of the working structures of ACALAN. It was expected that by the end of the two-day workshop, concerted strategies and program of activities for the Commissions, would be drawn up. A sound evaluation and monitoring device or strategy was also to be proposed and adopted for use. Finally, a binding working document on the functioning of the Commissions including strategies for advocacy and fund raising would be prepared and adopted.
The Workshop brought together about thirty (30) participants representing the Fulfulde, Hausa and Setswana Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions of ACALAN, the Chairperson of the Assembly of Academicians of ACALAN, staff of the Executive Secretariat of ACALAN and the ECOWAS Commission. a three-man team of experts from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) also participated in the workshop to make presentations on planning, advocacy and fund raising.
During the Workshop, participants made important recommendations which can be summarized as follows:
- The development of a manual guiding the activities of the Commissions;
- The organization of meetings for the implementation of the harmonized orthography;
- The creation of websites for the Hausa and Setswana Commissions for the dissemination of their research results;
- The identification of the main donors and the development of a targeted fundraising strategy;
- The establishment of the ACALAN National Language Structures;
- The formal appointment of the Commissions Members.