A reason to learn Swahili

The African Union’s Heads of State have now approved Swahili as an official working language for the bloc.
The announcement was made during the African Union’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

The approval comes after a request from Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango, who argued that Swahili is spoken by over 100 million people in Africa, making it one of the most widely spoken languages on the continent, according to the continental union’s 55 member states.

“Kiswahili is already in use in various communities including the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as a teaching language in many African countries,” he said.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated July 7 as World Kiswahili Language Day.

“The UN has set aside a day to fete Kiswahili. The language will be celebrated on July 7 every year. The decision has been passed by all members of UNESCO without any objection,” the organisation said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The language, which has its origins in East Africa, became the continent’s first dialect to be recognized by UNESCO.

According to the UN, the language had its origins in East Africa, and Swahili speakers are spread over more than 14 countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Comoros, and as far as Oman and Yemen in the Middle East, said reports.

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