The African Project
The African Conference Interpreting and Translation Project sets out to promote the development in Africa of training courses in interpreting, translation, and public service interpreting (in the public services, hospitals, courts, etc.).
The on-going process of regional integration in Africa goes hand in hand with the growth of regional and international organisations in Africa and the resulting increase in the numbers of meetings, conferences and documents to be translated.
Video clip on the African Project
Thanks to the African Project, a number of centres of excellence providing training in these disciplines have established themselves in Africa. They provide a two-year course at Masters level leading to a Pan-African Masters in Conference Interpreting and Translation.
This initiative aims to help meet the demand in Africa for professionals in these fields. It comes in the wake of similar initiatives to train a new generation of interpreters and translators in Europe, Asia and the United States.
How to take part:
If you wish to become an interpreter and are interested by these courses, contact one of the universities concerned. You should have a perfect command of one or two languages in addition to your native or main language. You must pass the selection tests held every year by each of the universities concerned. You will find details of how to apply for these tests and the relevant conditions on the universities' web-sites.
The courses take place in:
- University of Nairobi, Kenya
- Universidade Pedagogica de Maputo, Mozambique
- ASTI, Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters, Buea, Cameroun
- University of Accra, Legon, Ghana
The participating universities, grouped together in the African Consortium Project, are committed to following the same curriculum and to harmonising their approaches to selection, teaching and certifying training. They are structured as a network of centres of excellences, located in the different linguistic zones of the continent, which will allow for student and trainer mobility within a pan-African network.
It is the heads of the language services of the main international organisations (UN, European Commission, European Parliament, African Union, ACP Secretariat, African Development Bank…) who together decided to launch the African Project on the occasion of the First Pan-African Project on Conference Interpreting, Translation and Public Service Interpreting, held in February 2009 at United Nations Office in Gigiri, Nairobi.
This decision enshrined in the Gigiri Declaration, came in the wake of the report entitled 'Language Matters', drawn up by a consultant, Mr Noël Muylle, at the request of the UN Secretariat General.
The report took stock of the state of interpreting and translation in Africa, high-lighting the lack of training structures and of professionals in these fields, to meet the growing demand for these services.
The Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission (DG SCIC) is one of the institutional members of the African Project. Director General Marco Benedetti has undertaken to accompany and support the universities wishing to provide such high-level training.
With its long experience in training interpreters, it has helped draw up curricula, and provided training for trainers (professional interpreters wishing to acquire the pedagogical tools they need to teach interpreting), and helped train students (in the form of pedagogical assistance missions to the universities concerned.)
It contributes, when necessary, to acquiring the sophisticated equipment needed for teaching conference interpreting.
Its presence at admission tests and final examinations, along with representatives from other international organisations, is a quality guarantee for the diplomas awarded.