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Bridging the divide between Cameroon's two major linguistic communities: the Anglophones and the Francophones.


The violent conflict in Cameroon's North-West and South-West regions, which has been ongoing since 2016, manifests the divisions between Cameroon's two major linguistic communities: the Anglophones and the Francophones. Since Cameroon's independence, this division has prevailed, sometimes latently, other times openly. 

Why is trust needed? 

As a result of the violent conflict, people living in these regions have been forced to move. Yaoundé is one of the host cities for the displaced and home to Cameroon's two largest universities. Displaced students have increased the proportion of English-speaking students in these universities, increasing the risk of conflict between these two large communities. 

How is trust built?

Breaking the chain of inter-generational hatred

Most students grew up with their identities as “Francophones” or “Anglophones” constantly being reinforced by their parents. A change in narrative is needed to change the perspectives of young Cameroonian leaders about the vision of the future of Cameroon. 

Building a culture of honest conversation

Through co-organising various trustbuilding activities, dialogue skills are developed to prepare students for preventing future conflict or handling it constructively. Trustbuilding ambassadors are trained and appointed to support the trustbuilding work on their respective campuses. 

Sport, trustbuilding cafes and various outreach activities are also implemented at the universities to build trust between the Anglophone and Francophone students.  

Impact to date

The team has organised trustbuilding dialogues and sessions with youth ambassadors amid rising tensions between Anglophones and Francophones in the country.

During a recent workshop, some of the English-speaking participants showed reluctance to share the same room with the French-speaking participants, while a few French-speaking participants felt the same. However, after completing the first module of 'starting with yourself,' which dealt with exploring stereotypes, judgement, and exchanging stories, and after having a chance to connect with one another as individuals, all participants were pleased to be together in the same room for the second workshop.

"Since I joined the TBP program, my perspective on things has changed drastically. Previously, I used to be judgmental, and I was unwilling to listen to other people's opinions. I always believed that I was right in everything, and I found it difficult to trust others. However, after the TBP, everything changed. The program taught me how to open up and communicate with others, and it helped me to understand their point of view. I realised that judging others doesn't help build trust and confidence. I also used to hold grudges and found it hard to forgive people even when they apologised, as I believed they would repeat the same mistake. However, the TBP helped me understand that forgiveness is necessary to release negative emotions. The program also taught me how to work effectively in a team, which was something I used to dislike. Now, working as a team has become easier for me." Datchoua Daisy (University of Yaoundé I).



Direct beneficiaries


Number of community leaders trained


Number of trustbuilding events held

Learn more about Trustbuilding in Cameroon

Herman Fabrice Beyene
Project Manager and President of IofC Cameroon Council

Marienne Makoudem Tene
Project Coordinator and Public Relations

Gilbert Palemagna
Accountant and Executive Secretariat

Marie-Claire Bikia
Facilitator and Assistant Executive Secretariat

Adalbert Otou Nguini
Translation and interpretation and counsellor

Valère Olinga
Fundraising and Public Relations

Simon Magloire Ntonga