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Pan-African Masters Consortium in Interpretation and Translation (PAMCIT)

The African ProjectThe PAMCIT Project sets out to promote the development of training courses in conference interpretingexternal link, translation external linkand public service interpreting in Africa.

The process of integration in Africa goes hand in hand with the growth of regional and international organisations and the resulting increase in the numbers of meetings, conferences and documents to be translated.

Video clip on the African Project, precursor of PAMCIT

Thanks to the PAMCIT Project, a number of centres of excellence providing training in these disciplines have been established in Africa. They provide two-year courses leading to a Masters Diploma in Conference Interpreting or Translation.

This initiative, which aims to contribute to meeting the demand for professionals in these fields in Africa, comes in the wake of similar initiatives to train new generations of interpreters and translators in Europe, Asia and the United States.

How to take part:

The African Project

If you wish to become an interpreter and are interested in these courses, please contact one of the universities involved. You will need to have a perfect command of one or two languages in addition to your mother tongue or main language.

To be admitted to a Masters course you must pass the selection tests organised by each participating university. You will find details on how to apply for these tests and the relevant conditions on the universities' websites.

The courses take place in:

Further courses are likely to be launched in the medium term at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Faculty of Al Alsunexternal linkand at the University of the Witwatersrandexternal linkin Johannesburg, South Africa.


The African ProjectThe participating universities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing PAMCIT and undertake to follow the same curriculum and harmonise their procedures for selection, teaching and the certification of training. They are structured as a network of centres of excellence, located in the continent’s various linguistic areas. This allows for student and trainer mobility within a Pan-African network.

The ‘African Project’, precursor of PAMCIT, was launched by the heads of the language services of several international organisations (United Nations, European Commission, European Parliament, African Union, ACP Secretariat, African Development Bank…) who took part in the First Pan-African Conference on Training of Translators, Conference Interpreters and Public Service Interpreters, held at the United Nations Office at Nairobi in February 2009.

The decision to launch the Project, enshrined in the Gigiri Declaration adopted at the Nairobi Conference, came in the wake of the report entitled 'Languages Matter', drawn up by Mr Noël Muylle, consultant, at the request of the UN Secretariat General.

The report took stock of the state of interpreting and translation in Africa, and highlighted the lack of training structures and of professionals in these fields and thus their inability to meet the growing demand for these services.

Director General Marco Benedetti in CameroonThe Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission is one of the institutional members of the Project. It has undertaken to accompany and support the universities wishing to provide such high-level training.

Thanks to its long experience in training interpreters, DG Interpretation has helped to draw up curricula, it provides Training for Trainers (offering training to professional interpreters wishing to acquire the pedagogical tools needed to teach interpreting), and helps to train students (through pedagogical assistance missions to the universities concerned).

Interpretation equipmentWhen necessary, it also gives advice on the acquisition of the sophisticated equipment needed for teaching conference interpreting.

The presence of DG Interpretation’s staff at admission tests and final examinations, along with representatives from other international organisations, is guarantee of quality for the degrees awarded.


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