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Publish or You Perish, CUIB Lecturers Advised 

By Isidore Abah — Lecturers of the Catholic University Institute of Buea, CUIB, have been told that the only way to contribute to the global market of ideas or the academic world is by publishing academic books, journals, among others. The call was made by Professor Ephraim Ngwafor on May 14 in Buea, while addressing members of the administrative and teaching staff and students of CUIB.

This was on the occasion of the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Prof Ngwafor and CUIB, for the creation of a CUIB publishing house. “As an academia, you either publish or you perish, Prof Ngwafor asserted.

According to the learned professor at law, any institution that prides itself as a university or higher institute of learning must be bounded by what he termed the “indivisible trinity,” which comprises of a library, a bookshop and a publishing house, without which, he said, such an institution will be synonymous to what late Prof Fonlon in one of his books described as “a glorified secondary school.”

By writing and publishing, Prof Ngwafor said the lecturers will not only contribute to knowledge, but will spur other academic dons to carry out other research on what the lecturer must have written, and if there are any new findings or ideas, the lecturer who had initially written on that subject should be able to accept the new ideas and consequently learn from them.

He exhorted the lecturers of CUIB to desist from the “yes men sycophant syndrome” that has denigrated some of their academic credentials and strive to impart knowledge to young Cameroonians and make them better citizens in the future.

To the students, Prof Ngwafor encouraged them to be disciplined, assiduous and develop a passion for what they are doing, so that in future, they too can contribute to knowledge. The President of CUIB, Rev Fr George Nkenze, said the establishment of the publishing house has made CUIB a complete and whole university.

According to the CUIB President, for over three years, the faculties have not been able to publish, not because of bad faith, but because there was no publishing house. In this light, Rev Fr George Nkenze urged them to use the opportunity to publish as many academic articles as they can. This, he added, falls in line with the CUIB’s vision of academic excellence, research and publishing.

While launching the publishing house, Dr. Willibroad Dze-Ngwa said Africans have no academic definitions in the global market of ideas, as all the definitions are always crafted elsewhere and imposed on them. This, he said, has always posed a problem when such definitions are to be contextualised in the African perspective. 

As such, Dr Dze-Ngwa exhorted CUIB students to develop a passion for writing and contribute their own quota to education in the African perspective.