Regional parliament hail Rwanda plan to introduce Kiswahili
Written by: Administrator
Thursday, January 19th, 2017, 13:50
Kampala: The East African Legislative Assembly has congratulated the Rwandan government on its move towards making Kiswahili one of the official languages in the country.
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) hailed Rwanda while in Kampala where the regional parliament is conducting sessions. Parliamentarians were discussing the use of Kiswahili in debates at the regional parliament, a motion moved by Hon Shyrose Bhanji.
Rwanda’s introduction of Kiswahili as one of its official languages has already passed a major step following the October 2016 Cabinet Meeting that passed the draft law. The move now awaits the consideration, discussion and approval by the Parliament of Rwanda before becoming law.
Article 119 of the EAC Treaty, provides for the development and promotion of indigenous languages especially Kiswahili as a lingua franca of the region.
Kiswahili is not only a unifying language spoken by East Africans but it is rich in dialect and expression.
Justifying the Motion, Hon Bhanji hailed the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and the Cabinet for the decision to begin the process of making Kiswahili an official language. She urged the citizens of the country to embrace Kiswahili, which she termed the language of unity.
“It is widely spoken in the EAC countries as well as some countries in the Central and Southern part of Africa making it one of the most popular language spoken on the Continent after Arabic”, the resolution says in part.
During the debate, Hon Martin Ngoga, said Kiswahili was a strong unifying tool and that it would make the integration story to be less elitist. “Definitely, Kiswahili will create a strong bond among East Africans”.
Hon Abubakar Zein said the region was waiting and looking forward to the time when the Assembly would embrace Kiswahili in its debates. “All Heads of State in the Community have embraced Kiswahili. It is a beautiful language”, he said.
On his part, Hon Adam Kimbisa said the citizens of East African Community were the custodians of Swahili and need to guide and guard the language. “Rwanda has thus shown the way in the process of east africanisation of the language”, he added.
During the debates, the Assembly urged the Council of Ministers to allocate adequate resources to EAC Kiswahili Commission to effectively carry out its mandate.