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Today marks World Kiswahili Day

Celebrations in Kenya and reports in the international media

07-07-2022 by redazione

From today, every 7 July will be World Swahili Language Day, Kiswahili.
An old Swahili saying goes 'Hayawi hayawi huwa'.
This means that things that seem impossible can eventually come true.
So also the long-awaited World Kiswahili Language Day has arrived today thanks to the international UNESCO resolution last year.

The world is welcoming this day by paying due homage to it; as of this morning, Kiswahili has already carved out a space for itself in most international media, with reports and in-depth coverage on the BBC, Al Jazeera, and radio and television stations from China to other Eastern and African countries.

In Africa, Kiswahili is the only African language to be an official language of the African Union (AU). This is no mean achievement, considering that the others have always been foreign languages such as English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and German.

It is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa and the most widely spoken in sub-Saharan Africa. Swahili is listed among the 10 most spoken languages in the world, with over 200 million people. It is one of the lingua franca of many countries in East, Central and Southern Africa and the Middle East. Kiswahili is also one of the official languages not only of the African Union, but also of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) and its countries, led by Kenya, Uganda and recently by Rwanda.

It is therefore an indispensable tool for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and facilitating regional integration, particularly in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA). It may be recalled that in the 1950s, the United Nations established the Kiswahili language unit of the United Nations Radio in New York and today Kiswahili is the only African language within the United Nations Directorate of Global Communications.

Kenya celebrates the day in different ways, with universities and Kiswahili associations organising virtual and physical meetings and separate processions. At the national level, Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala led the preparations of the National Steering Committee for the celebration of Kiswahili Day 2022, which will be the focus of all celebrations.

TAGS: kiswahiligiornata mondialelingua

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