Involvement of consumers of interpretation services in the training of interpreters in Africa:An investigation
This study investigates the involvement of consumers of interpretation services in the training of interpreters in Africa. African organizations increasingly require highly qualified interpreters to efficiently service their conferences around the year. While African universities which offer interpreter training programs primarily aim at meeting this demand, African organizations have not shown much interest in collaborating with these academic institutions. This stands in marked contrast with the active support provided by some nonAfrican institutions, suchas the United Nations and the European Commission. The research objectives pursued were therefore (1) to identify the reasons for little or lack of participation of African consumer institutions of interpretation services in the training of interpreters; (2) to examine the benefits of the collaboration to the consumer institutions and the training institutions; and (3) to examine the potential extent and forms of collaboration between both parties. This study used the inter-organizational relations theory and collected data through questionnaires and an interview targeting a sample of five African organizations (international, continental, regional, NGO and governmental)as well as five universities members of the Pan-African Masters in Conference Interpretation and Translation consortium. Key findings of the research are that (1) there is little or lack of participation of African consumer institutions of interpretation services in the training of resource constraints; (2) Several potential benefits from an active collaboration were identified both by African organizations and universities; (3) African organizations and universities are interested in several forms of involvement in the training programs, although there is a gap between the universities’ needs and the organizations’ possible offerings. The major conclusion of the investigation is that in spite of the recognition by the African organizations and the universities that inter-organizational relations between them in various forms would be mutually beneficial, indeed there is little and in most cases total absence of involvement of the African organizations in the training of interpreters in Africa. The main recommendation put forward is that both parties should devise ways and means of enhancing inter-organizational relations between them. A further study may be needed to identify possible strategies of operationalization of this recommendation.