ERIC Number: EJ789768
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 33
Kiswahili as Vehicle of Unity and Development in the Great Lakes Region
Kishe, Anna M.
Language, Culture and Curriculum, v16 n2 p218-230 2003
This paper discusses the potentiality of Kiswahili in accelerating social, political, economic and cultural integration within the Great Lakes Region. Presently, Kiswahili is a "de facto" lingua franca spoken by almost 100 million people in the world (Ntakirutimana, 2000). This is an indication of its viability in promoting unity among people with different linguistic backgrounds. In fact, the recommendation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to adopt Kiswahili as a working language of the organisation in 1986 was motivated by this linguistic and cultural ability of the language. The paper discusses the reasons for the failure to implement these recommendations, and argues that the development of trade within and across borders will be hindered where communication is based on different ethnic languages, or on foreign languages that are not understood by all. The logical basis for making Kiswahili the appropriate tool in facilitating unity and motivating socioeconomic integration in the Great Lakes region is outlined, and recommendations are made for the empowerment of Kiswahili adequately to meet this challenge.
Descriptors: African Languages, Language Attitudes, Linguistics, Socioeconomic Background, Cultural Background, Second Languages, Social Integration, Language Acquisition, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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Identifiers - Location: Africa; Burundi; Congo; Kenya; Rwanda; Tanzania; Uganda