‘KiSwahili critical for socio-economic development’

By Colette Musanyera

THE role of Kiswahili language in promoting cultural diversity and fostering dialogue took centre stage during the Kiswahili Language Day celebrations in Harare this Thursday.

The World joined Tanzania in celebrating Kiswahili Language Day after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation adopted a resolution that recognised the role of the language in promoting cultural diversity, creating awareness and fostering dialogue among civilisations.

This includes the need to promote multilingualism as a core value of the United Nations.

“We are celebrating Kiswahili as an international language. It’s not only a language for Tanzania. This development will help us recover our identity as Africans because language gives us lenses through which we see reality. Kiswahili will be used in commerce, research, arts and international trade,” said His Excellency, Professor Emmanuel Mbennah, Tanzanian Ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Guest of Honour at the event, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira underscored the importance of language in socio-economic development.

“Kiswahili should be used as a language of instruction in techno-scientific areas. To be successful in the 21st century and beyond, Kiswahili should be used in engineering and mathematics. We are excited that Kiswahili is growing from being a language of unity to being a medium of instruction in various African countries,” he said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa highlighted the significance of KiSwahili in the development of Africa.

“We are excited about this development. Kiswahili was used as a language of communication during the liberation struggle and we would like to congratulate Tanzania for this wonderful development,” she said.

The 7th of July each year is World Kiswahili Language Day as declared by UNESCO member states during its 41st Session in Paris 2021.

With more than 300 million speakers, KiSwahili is one of the most widely used African languages and it is the first African language to be recognised by the United Nations.