Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga the Minister of East African Community Affairs has reassured that despite the poor performance of Uganda in the use of the Kiswahili language, there are renewed interests undergoing and there is hope that Kiswahili will dominate in Uganda.
Kadaga highlighted that in the last year, she has received several delegations of Ugandans who are able to speak Swahili and she has also interacted with a number of graduates of this language, and this to her is a beacon of hope.
“It’s really exciting that we are here today to wake up our Africanism, 21 countries on this continent use French as their official language, 27 use English, others use Spanish and Portuguese, we need to act and mature our Africanism” she highlighted.
Kadaga made these remarks at the launch of the East African Community Swahili language day in Kampala on Thursday.
With its roots back from 1500AD, Swahili is currently a prominent language spoken in a variety of locations along the African Great Lakes Region and according to the latest statistics, about 200 million people speak it as a second language.
In 2022, the United Nations (UN) declared 7 th July as Swahili language day making it the first African-originated language to be designated the official language of the UN.
Prof. E.F Senkoro a former Dean of research and publication in the faculty of Arts and Sciences University of Dar-es-salaam noted that since all the answers hindering the progress of Swahili multilingualism are now available, the African continent should come together and utilize these answers.
Edward Sebina the commissioner of social affairs in the Ministry of East African Community Affairs noted that these celebrations are a stimulus to promote the use of the Swahili language in the country and as the Ministry this is lately their desire.
“We think that if we promote the language in the private sector, civil society, and the youth, it will help Ugandans become competitive in the region, we lately have a clear roadmap to implement this” Edward highlighted.
The Swahili Day celebrations on Thursday were graced by several dignitaries from the East African Community, Members of Parliament, scholars, and youth from across the country.