(Language Arts & Disciplines)
During the 1990s, as the Internet in general and e-mail in particular grew in popularity as a means of communication, a number of Cameroonians residing in various parts of the world established a vibrant and lively electronic forum for the discussion of various issues related to their native land. The forum, known as Camnet, demonstrated that Cameroonians living abroad could actively participate in the political, economic and social processes taking place at home. This ability to remain actively engaged in the development of one’s nation through the Internet is what Endeley calls “virtual activism.” Camnet thus distinguished itself as the first and most influential breeding ground for Cameroonian “virtual activism.” Although Camnet appeared to be dominated by political discussions, it was a truly multi-dimensional forum. No topic was explicitly forbidden and on some occasions the participants conducted extensive debates on issues that had nothing to do with Cameroon or with politics. In this publication, however, the author has chosen to present only a representative sample of his own contributions from the late 1990s with a direct bearing on Cameroon’s development. Some of the contributions are in French and in order to reflect the bilingual nature of the debates that took place on Camnet, these have not been translated into English. The informed reader will be struck by the issues which were being debated over 15 years ago as well as by the fact that some of the predictions the author made in the 1990s are a reality today.