Rt. Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga the Minister of East African Community Affairs has said that the East African Community (EAC) has agreed that Uganda should be their venue for this year’s Swahili Day celebrations in July.
According to Kadaga, Uganda is delighted to host these celebrations because they will boost the ongoing campaign of making Swahili a standard language for all the EAC member states.
“As far back as 1999 when the Community was revived, Swahili was declared as one of the legal communication of the community, by now we should have started using it but this hasn’t yet happened.” Kadaga highlighted.
“This is why we are stepping up efforts to ensure that many people in the community are able to speak Swahili, and the plans towards achieving this have been made over time” She added.
The Speaker Emeritus made these remarks while addressing Journalists at the Ministry of East African Community Affairs in Kampala on Friday.
Kadaga in this address also highlighted that the celebrations on 7th July will bring together Swahili stakeholders, academicians, students plus citizens, and for the first time, presentations will be made in Swahili and later translated into French and English.
Organized under the theme “Kiswahili and Multilingualism; Achieving More Together” Kadaga noted that Ministers from all the seven partner states will be present and they will all have presentations to the public.
In 2022, the United Nations (UN) declared 7 th July as Swahili language day making it the first African-originated language to be designated an official language of the UN.
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 about 200 million people speak it as a second language.
About training programs, the first deputy Prime Minister said that the Judiciary and the cabinet are currently taking lessons and plans are in place for all those stakeholders that work with the public.
“I’m in the advanced stages of finalizing my plans for the whole country which I hope that if the government adopts we shall rule it out” Kadaga highlighted.
Last year’s maiden celebrations were conducted in Zanzibar and due to the community protocols, these celebrations will also be conducted in all the partner states at a given time.