THE African Union has officially adopted Swahili as an official working language.
The approval comes following a request by Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango, who argued that over 100 million people in Africa speak Swahili, thus becoming one of the most widely spoken languages in the African continent, the continental union consisting of 55 member states heard.
‘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.
Also, he said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) declared July 7 as the World Kiswahili Language Day.
According to news portal Anadolu Agency, for a long time, African leaders have tried to push for the AU to adopt Swahili as the Pan African language.
Furthermore, the language became the first dialect on the continent to get recognised 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.
‘Furthermore, 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.