Frequently Asked Questions

 These are exciting days for Archivists! For the first time, the ICA annual conference will be held on the African continent: in Yaoundé, Cameroon, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, in a country that serves as a gateway to Africa. We hope that you will join us and our African colleagues in support of our first conference on the continent.

ICA Yaounde2018 will be an unforgettable experience! You will find our call for proposals for papers and workshops here. For many of our members, this will be their first trip to Africa. It is understandable that they may have questions, and those questions are encouraged. Please send us your queries at .

We are aware that several countries have issued travel advisories that may discourage people from travelling to Cameroon. While these messages should not be ignored, we feel certain that this conference will be a safe and fun experience for all. There is admittedly some instability outside of Yaoundé (in the North of Cameroon), but there have been no incidents in the town itself, a fact most of these advisories take into account.

Members of the ICA Secretariat have been to inspect the conference venue and toured Yaoundé. Yaoundé is a safe city, comparable to most other global metropolises, such as Mexico City, New York and the like. Use common sense; don’t walk alone in neighbourhoods you don’t know (women in particular should not walk alone at night); ask your hotel to hire a local driver; taxis are recommended; beware of pickpockets. Always request permission before taking photographs, especially of official buildings.

The conference has the attention and direct support of the highest echelons of the Cameroon government, and the authorities are ready and eager to play host to us. They are committed to ensuring the safety and security of conference participants.

In the meantime, below are a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the conference and Yaoundé in general. If these do not answer your question(s), please send us an email!


v  What are the conference dates?

ICA Governance meetings of its Executive Board, Programme Commission, and Forum of National Archivists will take place on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November 2018.

The Professional Programme, with panels, keynotes, and workshops, will take place from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 November.

v  Where is the conference venue?

The Governance Meetings, Programme, and associated events will take place at the Yaoundé Conference Centre.

v  Are there any special events for African participants?

One of the streams of the conference is pan-African issues in archives, and much of the programme is expected to focus on African experiences and practices. In addition, on 29 November there will be high-level meetings of African professionals and decision-makers to make recommendations on the way forward for archives in Africa. Finally, on 29 and 30 November a training session geared towards participants from Africa will take place.


v  Can everyone attend the training session on 29 and 30? How can I register?

Participation in the training session is limited in number. Participants must be ICA members from Africa, who are currently working in Africa. There will be an online registration process. Please keep an eye on the conference web page for details when they become available.

v  Can I speak/present my research at the conference?

The Programme Committee launched a call for proposals in February; you can find the call for proposals here.

v  When will registration open?

Registration is expected to open in mid-2018. As information becomes available it will be posted on the ICA website ICA Yaounde 2018

v  How much will it cost to register? Can I get a waiver of the registration fees?

Registration fees will be posted on the conference web page once details become available. ICA members will enjoy a reduced registration fee. Other reductions such as early bird rates will also be posted once available.

v  How can my company be present / be made known during the Conference?

Please contact Christine Trembleau for information: send an email to

v  How can I reserve a booth in the conference information fair/exhibition area?

Please contact Christine Trembleau for information: send an email to

Getting there

What airlines fly to Yaoundé?

Yaoundé-Nsimalen (NSI) is an international airport. It is served by around 15 companies (Air France KLM, Brussels Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, etc.)

v  Is someone going to welcome me at the airport?

Yes, the host is arranging to greet everyone at the airport upon arrival. Make sure to indicate your arrival and departure times when you are requested to do so.

v  Is it expensive to fly to Yaoundé?

It is no more expensive to fly to Yaoundé than to fly to most major cities. Additionally, travelling within Africa is becoming easier. Also, the conference organizers will be working to negotiate discounted airfares with several airlines; if successful, this information will be posted on the Conference web page when it becomes available.

Visa requirements

v  Do I need a visa to travel to Cameroon?

Yes, in most cases. Check with your local authority for full information.

v  How can I get an invitation letter in order to secure a visa?

Once registration opens, an invitation letter will be automatically generated by the registration system upon arranging payment.


v  Can I drink the water?

We advise conference participants to drink bottled water only. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available. Avoid drinks with ice cubes.

v  What can I do to prevent becoming ill?

You should take medication for Malaria (Malarone or equivalent, starting one day before your flight, every day during your stay and continuing for seven additional days after leaving) and use mosquito repellent.

Avoid eating food such as fruits and vegetables that may have been washed in tap water. Do not consume fresh fruit juice or raw vegetables and avoid food that is not sufficiently cooked. Keep your hands clean at all times.

v  Do I need vaccinations?

A Yellow Fever vaccination is an entry requirement for Cameroon. Keep in mind that in some countries you need to reserve the vaccine (in Canada for instance) because there is high demand, so plan for this without delay. Some other vaccines are also recommended, though not required (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Typhoid). The rabies vaccine is recommended if you plan to leave Yaoundé for other regions of Cameroon.


v  Is it safe?

Yaoundé is similar to other major metropolitan cities. Use common sense and ask questions if in doubt. Travel in groups and do not go out after dark alone, especially into areas you do not know.

Yaoundé has a large expatriate population, and many of them live in the area of the city where the conference venue is located.

v  What measures are being taken to ensure delegates’ security?

The conference hosts are dedicated to making sure conference participants have a great experience in Yaoundé, and that includes security. Transportation is being organized, and Conference hotels are being identified. Additional security will be arranged for the Conference venue and surrounding events.

Lodgings and accommodation

v  Where should I stay?

Conference hotels are being arranged by the hosts with conference rates negotiated for a range of budgets. All the conference hotels will be identified on the Conference web page, and transportation will be organized between conference hotels and the conference venue.

Getting around

v  Will transportation be organized?

There will be transportation from the airport to the Conference hotels and between the Conference hotels and the Conference venue.

v  Can I take taxis?

The Conference host will identify certified taxis and this information will be available on the Conference web page. Do not use taxis that are not listed as certified on the conference web page.

Practical considerations

v  What is the local currency?

Cameroon’s currency is the CFA franc, a currency shared by 14 African countries making up the Franc Zone. It has a fixed rate of exchange in relation to the euro, i.e. 1 euro = 655.9 FCFA. Banknotes have the following denominations: 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 10,000. FCFA coins have monetary values of 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1. The CFA franc is guaranteed in euros by the French treasury but is not convertible outside Franc Zone countries. You will, therefore, need to change money on the spot.

v  Can I use other currencies to pay for things?

Euros and US dollars are accepted in Yaoundé. Cash may be withdrawn in banks and at ATMs using credit/debit cards such as Visa. The commission charged for changing money ranges between 3 and 5 % depending on the exchange office. For their part, international hotels in major towns and cities offer acceptable rates of exchange.


v  Can I use credit cards? Are there bank machines?

Often you will not be able to use credit cards, except in major hotels and certain restaurants. Credit card usage is becoming more available but should not be counted on. Many hotels have cash machines for withdrawing cash for transactions.

v  What is the electrical voltage standard?

Voltage: 220 – 230 Frequency: 50 Hz

v  Do I need a travel adapter for my electrical devices?

If you require a travel adapter in France, you will need one for Cameroon. Plugs and sockets are the same as in France.

v  What languages are spoken?

The official languages are French and English.

v  What is the time zone in Yaoundé?

Time zone: UTC/GMT +1.

v  What should I wear?

November is the best time of year to visit Yaoundé (start of the dry season). Yaoundé residents are relaxed about clothing; generally, you can wear anything that would normally be found acceptable in another international city. That said, avoid short skirts or shorts, and remember to protect yourself from mosquitos; longer sleeves and pants can help with this.