Experts urge EAC to adopt Kiswahili as official regional language-Xinhua

Experts urge EAC to adopt Kiswahili as official regional language

Source: Xinhua| 2024-07-08 19:54:30|Editor: huaxia

ARUSHA, Tanzania, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Experts on Sunday renewed their calls for the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers to expedite amendments to the EAC Treaty to enable Kiswahili as the regional bloc's official language.

In a statement from the EAC headquarters in Arusha Monday, experts urged all member states to enact laws promoting the use of Kiswahili at an event held in Mombasa, a Kenyan coastal city.

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage Aisha Jumwa said "Kiswahili is our unifying language in the region, with over 200 million people speaking it. I urge all EAC member states to push for laws and policies to be written and published in Kiswahili."

President of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) Nestor Kayobera said adopting Kiswahili as an official language would enhance citizens' understanding of the EACJ's proceedings across the region, which are currently delivered primarily in English.

"The Treaty establishing the EAC recognizes the English language as the official language and Kiswahili as a lingua franca," he said.

EACJ could not thus deliver its rulings in Kiswahili, Kayobera said, describing it as unfortunate that citizens cannot follow proceedings and understand judgments in their language.

The 41st session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognized July 7 as World Kiswahili Language Day, marking a milestone for the African language with over 230 million speakers globally.

The EAC is an intergovernmental organization composed of eight member states, namely the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.