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Kiswahili – a Key Tool in Regional Integration, says Chairperson of EAC Council of Ministers

East African Kiswahili Commission; Zanzibar, Tanzania; 07 September 2017:

Uganda’s 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of EAC Affairs and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Rt Hon. Kirunda Ali Kivejinja, has reiterated the need for Kiswahili to be mass oriented and used as a tool for integrating the people of East Africa.

Rt Hon. Kivejinja said that it is only through the use of Kiswahili as a tool for integration that the region shall achieve the provision of Article 137 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, that provides for Kiswahili to be developed as a lingua franca of the Community.

The Minister, who was speaking at the closing ceremony of the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) 1st International Conference in Zanzibar, Tanzania, said it was important that the language is made as simple and adoptive from the East African indigenous languages for ownership by a large section of the EAC population.

Rt Hon. Kivejinja underscored the commitment of the Community’s leadership in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and tasked the EACK to generate proposals on how Kiswahili can be used in the achievement of these goals. ” I would like to therefore pledge the commitment of the Council of Ministers in taking forward the Conference resolutions. We appreciate the progress being made by the Commission and will continue to guide and enable it execute its mandate,” he added.

The Minister noted that with more than 460 different ethnic groups in Tanzania, Kiswahili was the most efficient and effective integration tool. “I would like to pay tribute to the founders of Tanzania for discovering an important tool in the foundation of the nation,” added Rt Hon. Kivejinja.

The EAKC Executive Secretary, Prof. Kenneth Simala informed the participants of the Conference that the Commission was working closely with regional Kiswahili associations in a bid to harmonize the activities of these association. He added that various activities are underway towards the implementation of Kiswahili as an official language of the EAC.

Convened from 6th to 8th September, 2017 at the Golden Tulip Boutique Hotel in Zanzibar, the Conference has brought together Kiswahili stakeholders from the region and beyond to deliberate on how the development and use of the language can creatively be used in deepening and widening EAC integration and contribute towards the realization of sustainable development in the region.

The participants of the Conference have put forward the need to fast-track the establishment of National Kiswahili Councils and National Kiswahili Associations in all Partner States; the introduction and use of Kiswahili at different levels of Education while making it examinable; the integration of Kiswahili into functional adult education programmes; and the promotion of Kiswahili research.

The Conference concludes tomorrow with an excursion to various historical and tourist sites in Zanzibar.

For more information, please contact:

Executive Secretary
East African Kiswahili Commission
Tel: +255 242 232 704
email: isimala [at] eachq.org

About the East African Kiswahili Commission:

The East African Kiswahili Commission (EACK) is an institution of the East African Community based in Zanzibar, The United Republic of Tanzania. The Commission started its operations in May, 2015 and has developed the Annual Operations Plan for 2016-2017. The Commission’s vision is to be the leading body in the promotion and coordination of the development and usage of Kiswahili for regional integration and sustainable development.

Kongamano la kwanza la kamisheni ya kiswahili Afrika Mashariki

Serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano Tanzania imesema itahakikisha lugha ya kiswahili inaendelea kutumiwa ipasavyo kwa Nchi wanachama wa jumuia ya Africa mashariki.

Akizungumza katika ufunguzi wa kongamano la Kwanza la kamisheni ya Kiswahili Afrika Mashariki Mjini Zanzibar Makamo wa Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassani amesema lugha ya kiswahili ni lugha ya mawasiliano hivyo ni vyema kuendelea kutumiwa katika nchi za Africa Mashariki.

Amesema ni jambo la busara kwa jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki kuamua kuanzisha kamisheni hiyo visiwani Zanzibar ukizingatia ndio sehemu ya chimbuko la lugha hiyo.

Aidha ametowa wito kwa kamisheni hiyo kuendeleza mikakati zaidi ikiwemo kuendelea kuwakutanisha pamoja wadau wa lugha ya Kiswahili kwa lengo la kuikuza na kuieneza lugha hiyo ndani na nnje ya nchi.

Kwa upande wake Waziri wa habari utamaduni utalii na michezo Zanzibar,Rashid Ali Juma alisema Serikali ya mapinduzi Zanzibar itaendelea kutoa ushirikiano kwa kamisheni hiyo kuwepo hapa Zanzibar kutokana na Zanzibar kuwa ni sehemu ya chimbuko la lugha hiyo.

Nae Kaimu mwenyekiti wa jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki Balozi Agostino Mahiga alisema kutokana na mataifa mbalimbali kuwa na mwamko wa kutumia lugha ya Kiswahili hivyo wananchi wanajukumu kubwa la kuitunza na kuendeleza kuitumia lugha hiyo ili iweze kueneo kwa urahisi katika nchi mbalimbali.

Kwa upande wake katibu mtendaji wa kamisheni ya Kiswahili Prof.Kenneth Samala amesema wanaendeleza mashirikiano na serikali pamoja na taasisi zote kwa lengo la kuimarisha lugha ya kiswahili dunia kote.

Kongamano la kwanza la kamisheni ya kishwahili jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki litaendelea kufanyika Zanzibar kwa muda wa siku mbili ambapo limeshirikisha jumla ya washiriki 150 kutoka nchi tofauti za Africa ikiwemo Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudani kusini, Rwanda, na Burundi.

Na: Fat hiya Shehe   |  Zanzibar24

EAC Partner States urged to embrace Kiswahili as the Lingua Franca for the region

East African Kiswahili Commission; Zanzibar, Tanzania; 06 September 2017:

The Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Samila Suluhu Hassan, has underscored the importance of the Kiswahili language in promoting development and regional integration in East Africa.

Ms. Hassan said Kiswahili has immense potential to unite the people of East Africa and should therefore be embraced by all East Africans as the lingua franca of the region, adding that the language could be an important tool in the pursuit of economic and social development in the region.

“It is my hope that the East African Kiswahili Commission will aid us in ensuring that the people of East Africa are not mere receivers of strategies for development, but active agents for change. Kiswahili should be promoted and used to enhance our ability to steer the development efforts,” said the Vice President.

Vice President Hassan disclosed that the United Republic of Tanzania would work with other East African Community (EAC) Partner States to promote Kiswahili as the lingua franca of the Community.

“Tanzania shall continue standing at the forefront of the promotion of Kiswahili, and is ready and willing to provide Kiswahili teachers to the rest of the region,” said the Vice President.

H.E. Samia Sahulu Hassan was addressing delegates at the official opening of the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) 1st International Conference, under the theme: Transforming the East African Community through Kiswahili.

Convened from 6th to 8th September, 2017 at the Golden Tulip Botique Hotel in Zanzibar, the Conference has brought together Kiswahili stakeholders from the region and beyond to deliberate on how the development and use of the language can creatively be used in deepening and widening EAC integration and contribute towards the realization of sustainable development in the region.

In his remarks, the Secretary General of the EAC, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, said that the Commission was held in high regard and considered an integral and important institution of the Community.

“I would like to wish that existing cooperation between the Commission, the EAC Secretariat, and other EAC Organs and Institutions is intensified in all areas so as to use Kiswahili in ensuring active citizen participation in the development agenda of the Community,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.

“There is no doubt that Kiswahili is an important ingredient in the integration and sustainable development of the EAC. It is for this reason that Article 137 of the EAC Treaty recognizes its importance as a lingua franca. In an effort to give Kiswahili the force that it deserves to drive development in the Community, the East African Legislative Assembly in July 2016 resolved to make it one of the Official Languages of the Community. We promise that the Secretariat will do what it takes to ensure that this desire is realized,” added Amb. Mfumukeko.

Welcoming delegates to the Conference, the EAKC Executive Secretary , Prof. Kenneth Simala, said that the development of Kiswahili will provide the Community with an opportunity to survive and thrive in an ever-changing environment, characterized by innovation and transformation.

“We have convened this Conference in Zanzibar in an effort to appreciate and acknowledge the critical role that Zanzibar has played in the development of Kiswahili not only in East Africa but worldwide. We can not talk about the history of Kiswahili without acknowledging the role played by Zanzibar,” said Prof. Simala.

The EAKC’s 1st Internatinal Conference was marked with the official opening of the Commission’s offices along Maisara Road in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Also launched was the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022 which was developed in line with the aspirations of the EAC’s Vision 2050 and the African Union Agenda 2063./p>

Among the dignitaries attending the Conference are the former President of Tanzania, H.E Ali Hassan Mwinyi; Minister of Information, Culture, Artists and Sports, Tanzania, Hon. Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe; Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Hon. Amb. Augustine Mahiga; Ministers from the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar; Principal / Permanent Secretaries form the EAC Partner States and Heads of EAC Organs and Institutions.

For more information, please contact:

Executive Secretary
East African Kiswahili Commission
Tel: +255 242 232 704
email: isimala [at] eachq.org

About the East African Kiswahili Commission:

The East African Kiswahili Commission (EACK) is an institution of the East African Community based in Zanzibar, The United Republic of Tanzania. The Commission started its operations in May, 2015 and has developed the Annual Operations Plan for 2016-2017. The Commission’s vision is to be the leading body in the promotion and coordination of the development and usage of Kiswahili for regional integration and sustainable development.


East African Kiswahili Commission
Maisara Street
P.O. Box 600
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Tel: +255 024 2232704/
+255 024  2232722
katibumtendaji@kiswacom.org
katibu.tume@kiswacom.org