Over 70 participants from Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Togo attended a talk on joining AIIC given by Moudachirou Gbadamassi, a staff interpreter at ECOWAS and renowned author, coach and motivational speaker.
Moudachirou conducted a micro-survey among AIIC Africa members before giving his talk to get perspectives from them on the added value of being in the Association.
During his informative talk that was full of anecdotes, Moudachirou, quoted a Yoruba proverb that says: “When a leaf remains in contact with soap for a long time, it becomes soap” to sum up what being an AIIC member means: the continuous quest for quality and excellence that rubs off onto you by virtue of being in AIIC.
Participants questions focused on the challenge of getting sponsors during the Covid-19 pandemic when there are limited possibilities of mentorship and work; the type of private market contracts that CACL would consider acceptable; clarification on language combination; and the challenge of working in settings where contracts are systematically not issued for interpretation services because of having to deal with sub-contractors.
Elolo Kumodzi, an AIIC member, from Togo spoke about the various incarnations of his career as an interpreter from a freelancer to a staff interpreter and later, an entrepreneur, and the fact the he still proudly wears the AIIC brand as a result of the sense of belonging to a family of professionals.
Jibola Sofalahan, a member of the AIIC Professional Training and Development Group and Interpreter Trainer at the University of Ghana, appealed to participants interested in joining AIIC to go beyond asking what is in AIIC for them and explore ways in which they can also contribute to the Association. Jibola encouraged them to read the Code of Professional Ethics and understand their responsibilities in upholding high standards.
Key take-home messages from Elisabeth Kouaovi, a former AIIC Africa Regional Secretary and Chair of the Africa Training Committee, and currently a member of AIIC’s Disciplinary and Disputes Committee and Manager of the Translation, Interpretation and Publications Unit at the WHO Regional Office for Africa were: AIIC does not make one an interpreter neither does it does validate one’s skills. Throughout one’s life as an interpreter, one will continuously have to prove their competence by delivering quality work.
The AIIC Africa Bureau encourages participants interested in joining AIIC to get more information here.