Home News Kiswahili Language: East African Affairs Ministry in Final Process of Engaging Trainers

Kiswahili Language: East African Affairs Ministry in Final Process of Engaging Trainers

Kadaga speaking to Parliament this week Courtesy Photo

Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga the Minister-in-charge of  East African Affairs, who doubles as the First Deputy Prime Minister this week told Parliament this week that her Ministry is in the final process of engaging relevant stakeholders of Kiswahili to train cabinet Ministers plus their Permanent Secretaries and some materials are ready.

As guided by Cabinet, the Ministry of East African Affairs was tasked with a view to prepare a comprehensive plan and budget for various activities to implement the 21st East African Community Summit directive.

Speaking at the flour of Parliament while issuing a statement on adopting Kiswahili as an official language of the community, Kadaga highlighted that the 21st Summit Directive to adopt Kiswahili as an official language was presented to Cabinet on July 4th and they collectively decided to give it a shot.

Furthermore, Cabinet resolved that members of the cabinet and their respective permanent Secretaries should be given one year within which they should learn the language and also approve additional financial support for the implementation of this directive.

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The 21st Summit of the East African Community (EAC) heads of state that was held on February 27th declared that Kiswahili should be adopted as an official language of the community which warrants the implementation of the directive in Uganda.

“We are currently engaging the Gender Ministry to establish a National Kiswahili Council which will champion Kiswahili development initiatives at the national level” Kadaga noted.

Hon Kadaga interacting with Parliament this week Courtesy Photo

According to Kadaga, this council is expected to complement efforts to translate key EAC policy documents and also to outreach activities to promote Kiswahili as an official language of the East African Community.

The Kamuli district woman legislator emphasized the need to enhance the ability to communicate in Kiswahili as this will help in enhancing intra-regional trade, facilitating the implementation of the common market protocol, creating employment opportunities for translators and interpreters plus also creating a shared sense of identity within a highly diverse linguistic society.

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The 1995 constitution required Uganda to make Swahili the second official language but this hasn’t been implemented ever since which prompted the cabinet to finally implement this constitutional provision.

In order to catch up with the other member states like Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania that is already familiar with the language, the cabinet also agreed that workers at Uganda Airlines should also start using Swahili while communicating with passengers.

In 2020, the African Union declared Swahili as one of the continent’s official languages following a decision of the South African Development Community to make the language the fourth official language of its member states in 2019.

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