Uganda set to host EAC Kiswahili Day


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During the parliamentary sitting on Tuesday, July 4th, MPs called for the promotion of the Kiswahili language to promote communication, trade, and integration within the region.

This followed a statement delivered by Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, the first deputy Prime Minister and also Minister for East African Community (EAC).

Uganda is hosting the second World Kiswahili Day for the East African Community. The day will be hosted between July 6 and 7 at the Hotel African, and it will be attended by delegates from the seven EAC member states.

According to Kadaga, the theme of the day will be “Kiswahili and multilingualism: Achieving more together.”

She said that the goal of the event is intended to bring East Africans together to discuss ways and means of developing the language for promoting regional integration and sustainable development.

“The day is intended to bring East Africans together to discuss ways and means of developing the language for promoting regional integration and sustainable development,” she said.

She further added that the day is also intended to create awareness about EAC, saying Uganda’s constitution provides for Kiswahili as the second official language, while Article 137 of the 1999 EAC agreement states that it should be developed as an official language of the community.

Kadaga explained that on August 26th, 2016, the East African Legislative Assembly passed a resolution urging the EAC heads of state summit to consider amending Article 137, Section 2, of the EAC agreement to consider Kiswahili as the second official language of the community and English is the official language of the community.

Kadaga also revealed that the cabinet and the judiciary are taking Kiswahili lessons every Monday for an hour.

Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, urged MPs to embrace Kiswahili and promote the use of the language.

During the 21st Summit of the EAC Heads of State held on February 27, 2021, Kiswahili and French were declared to be adopted as official languages of the community.

In November 2021, at the 41st Session, the General Conference of Uganda Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared July 7 as World Kiswahili Day and recommended that the day be celebrated by all stakeholders.

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