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Kiswahili introduced in Uganda as an official language

The Uganda National Kiswahili council was set up to guide on assimilation of Swahili

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni

Uganda, through the cabinet, has officially approved the adaption of Kiswahili as an official language and directed it to be made a mandatory subject in primary and secondary school.

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This is after the government set up the Uganda National Kiswahili council in 2019 to guide the introduction of Kiswahili as the second official language in Uganda.

The Ugandan Cabinet agreed to the implementation of the directive made during the 21st EAC extraordinary summit in Dar es Salaam in February 2021.

During the summit, the heads of states amended Article 137 of the bloc’s treaty to introduce the lingua franca as an alternative language for transacting EAC’s official business.

“It was further agreed that training programs for Parliament, Cabinet, and the media be initiated that move is likely to bring to an end the age-old joke that.

"Kiswahili was born in Zanzibar, grew up in mainland Tanzania, fell sick in Kenya, died in Uganda, and was buried in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Dr Chris Baryomunsi, Uganda's minister for ICT and National Guidance,

Therefore, the government of President Yoweri Museveni has recommended compulsory teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools in Uganda.

English has been the only official language in Uganda since its independence in 1962, Kiswahili was once proposed to be an official language in 2005 but is only taught as an optional language in secondary schools since 2007.

In Africa, Kiswahili is widely spoken in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, and Comoros. The language is also spoken in Oman and Yemen.

The adoption of Kiswahili as the second official language is set to not only boost the unity of the bloc but also deepen and widen integration.

Embracing the language at the regional level will also increase people’s participation in the affairs of the community.

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