Parliament Pushes for 3.2 Billion Shillings to Promote Kiswahili Language Integration Efforts

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The Parliamentary Committee on East African Affairs is calling for the approval of 3.2 billion shillings to support the integration of Kiswahili language activities in Uganda.

Noeline Kisembo, the committee chairperson and district woman representative of Kibale, highlighted that while efforts have been made to integrate Kiswahili language in Uganda, such as the Judiciary and Cabinet conducting Kiswahili training sessions, lack of funding has hindered progress in this area. The integration of the Kiswahili language remains unfunded, with a budget requirement of 3.25 billion shillings.

“To deepen and widen integration in the region, the Kiswahili language should be popularized as a means of integrating and unifying communities. The Committee recommends that 3.25 billion shillings be allocated to the Ministry to fast-track the 27th EAC Summit Directive and implement activities for Kiswahili integration,” stated Kisembo, Chairperson of Parliament’s EAC Committee.

In line with fostering East African Community (EAC) integration, MP for Sheema North, Naome Kibaaju, has also proposed that Kiswahili lessons be provided to lawmakers. Kibaaju believes that introducing Kiswahili in the Parliament will enhance integration efforts.

“As leaders here, if we intend to start using Kiswahili in our Parliament, we need classes in Kiswahili to begin here at Parliament. While I understand there are some lessons taking place at the NRM Secretariat, that location is congested and not conducive for learning. I suggest we have the classes in one of our rooms here at Parliament,” Kibaaju recommended.

In a report released by the Committee on April 4, 2024, one of the main challenges facing the Ministry of East African Community Affairs is the lack of visibility. Many Ugandans are unaware of the importance of EAC Integration and how they can benefit from it. Therefore, the committee proposes sensitization and public awareness campaigns to promote the integration efforts.

This aligns with the 21st EAC Summit Directive, which advocates for the adoption of Kiswahili as an official language within the region. The Ministry of East African Community Affairs is tasked with coordinating and promoting Kiswahili as an official language in accordance with this directive.

While some progress has been made in integrating Kiswahili language in Uganda, such as the Judiciary and Cabinet conducting Kiswahili training sessions and establishing strategic partnerships with training institutions, the activity remains unfunded in the fiscal year 2024-125, with a funding requirement of 3.25 billion shillings.

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