In order to make a Bamum script computer font usable for email and the internet (for example, at this website!), the Bamum palace has embarked on a project to encode the Bamum script through the Unicode Consortium. In order to do this, a Unicode proposal with the official backing of the Bamum palace and the active participation of the user community will be developed in late 2007 or 2008 by a variety of specialists (and literates) in the Bamum script, Bamum language, computers, encoding, etc.

A proposal will navigate its way through a committee over a three-year period before ultimately becoming available internationally in about five years. This timetable will be achievable for the BSAP, which aims to complete many of its long term projects by 2016. The keys to finding a Unicode solution for Bamum are the following: 1. include as much Bamum input into the project as possible (script literates, languages experts, computer specialists) to ensure that the Bamum are active contributors to the development and modernization of their language, script and culture; 2. partner with international specialists with insights and experience regarding the creation of successful Unicode proposals which will ultimately work correctly in different environments and with different systems; 3. consider encoding variants of the Bamum script from different time periods, as this will benefit attempts to digitize Bamum texts.

General guidelines on submitting scripts for Unicode encoding can be found at: http://www.unicode.org/pending/proposals.html

Individuals interested in getting involved in our encoding initiative should contact the BSAP via our contact page.

Bamum syllabary