July 23, 2024

Government to Establish a Kiswahili Council

Aisha Jumwa, Cabinet Secretary Gender, Culture, Arts and Heritage (Photo By Mwakwaya Raymond)

By Mwakwaya Raymond

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

The Kenyan government will establish a National Kiswahili Council in its bid to not only promote, but also develop the language throughout the country.

Aisha Jumwa, Gender, Culture, Arts and Heritage cabinet secretary (CS), said the cabinet, chaired by President William Ruto, has given the green light for its establishment.

Currently the Office of the Attorney General is going through the draft before tabling it in the National Assembly for enactment into law.

The CS appealed to the President to rally the legislators into passing the bill that would facilitate NKC’s formation before the end of the year.

She said there was need to designate a day for using Kiswahili as the lingua franca of transacting business within and without the country because of its over 200 million users of the language in the East and Central Africa as well as internationally.

To spread its wing, Jumwa suggested that Disc Jockeys (DJs) to refrain from playing national and East African Community anthems’ beats to allow citizens sing the Kiswahili versions as manifestation of patriotism.

In her speech, the State Department for Culture, the Arts and Heritage principal secretary Ummi Bashir called on digital traffic to use the information technology in promoting Kiswahili as one of the principal languages in the digital world.

She noted that the government was accelerating its efforts for the inclusion of Kiswahili in all digital platforms to reach as many people as possible globally.

Dr. Caroline Asiimwe, executive secretary of East African Kiswahili Commission, praised the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for declaring July 7 every year as the International Kiswahili Day.

She noted that there was a need for Kiswahili-speaking countries to use the language to actualize sustainable development.

According to UNESCO Kiswahili is one of the ten most widely spoken languages in the world with more than 230 million users.

Uganda’s Minister for East African Affairs James Ikuya emphasised the need for Africa to leverage the Kiswahili language to the 54 countries as a way to unite the entire continent for development and prosperity.

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