Female Interpreters for Africa at the European Development Days

For the second time, the Pan-African Masters Consortium in Interpretation and Translation (PAMCIT) will be present at the European Development Days, Europe's leading forum on international cooperation and development, on the 5th & 6th June in Brussels.

Funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Office at Nairobi, the PAMCIT programme aims to address the shortage of qualified African language professionals by training interpreters and translators. In order to achieve these objectives, the EU supports universities and students with facilities, specialist training and scholarships.

The overarching title of this year's forum will be "Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable development: protect, empower, invest". The PAMCIT programme plays a vital part in increasing gender balance in interpreters' and translators' profession, thereby assisting women in entering high quality and sustainable jobs.  

In Africa, interpretation is a largely male-dominated profession, whereas more than a half of the PAMCIT graduates are women. Obtaining a formal qualification can be beneficial for female interpreters to increase their chances of securing gainful employment in African contexts. Since the start of the PAMCIT programme in 2010, the number of female students taking the Masters has steadily increased, with a large pool of young female interpreters now in a position to access fulfilling and well-paid jobs. Graduates of the PAMCIT programme work as language professionals on the African continent. A number of them deploy their know-how at the service of interregional organisations such as the African Union, the African Development Bank or the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The PAMCIT project trains young African linguists; this includes those from under-represented groups such as women, exiled refugees and rural communities.

The PAMCIT programme is contributing to opening the professions of translation and interpretation to more women in African countries and by doing so, promoting African languages and giving a voice to the underrepresented gender.