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Source: African Development Bank Group

In December 2019, we heard vague murmurings about it and began to wonder: “What’s going on?”

In January 2020, it started spreading and the situation became increasingly more disturbing!

By March 2020, the whole planet was affected. All of a sudden, we were staring at the stark reality. Our buzz words became: “Covid-19”, “coronavirus”, “social distancing”, “lockdown”, “barrier measures”, “hand sanitizers”, “mandatory face masks”, “confirmed cases”, “deaths”, “cured cases”, “chloroquine”, “azithromycin”, “Artemisia” and so on.

The outbreak soon morphed into a tragedy, a veritable disaster, a hecatomb.

Overnight, our daily lives were thrown into disarray. Indeed, there are no words strong enough to describe all that has happened since March 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO.

Our individual work spaces at the CCIA, HQ and country offices have now been relocated to Riviera (Abidjan), Sicap (Dakar), Koulouba (Ouagadougou), Poto-Poto (Brazzaville), Bastos (Yaoundé), Remera (Kigali), Itaosy (Antananarivo), Berges du Lac (Tunis), Lang’ata (Nairobi), to name but a few.

Needless to say that we have been riding an emotional roller-coaster. Little wonder then that the theme chosen for this year’s International Translation Day is: “Finding the Words for a World in Crisis”. 

Yes! Let’s find the words to describe our personal experience within our families, in our countries, and on our continent.

Words are potent, having the power and ability to heal, to liberate and to revitalize us.

I therefore urge each and every one of us to find the appropriate words that would help us to adapt, to reinvent ourselves and to positively transform this world in crisis.

Happy International Translation Day!


Director, Corporate Language Services Department (CHLS)

MIL OSI Global Banks