The National Swahili Council is meant to guide the planning process, implementation of interventions and allocation of resources to the usage and development of Kiswahili as a Lingua franca-a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Uganda National
Addressing the press on Tuesday, the Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said
that the decision was reached at on Monday during a cabinet meeting at State House.
According to the 1995 constitution, Swahili is the second official language of
Uganda after English. However its development and usage has been low.
In 2010 government revealed plans to establish a mandatory
Kiswahili Council to boost the teaching of Swahili language in the country.
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The National Swahili Council is meant to guide the planning process,
implementation of interventions and allocation of resources to the usage
and development of Kiswahili as a Lingua franca-a language that is adopted
as a common language between speakers whose native languages are
The council will also ensure that the policy, legal and institutional framework
is in place through setting standards for effective promotion, development and
usage of Kiswahili at all levels.
It will also provide harmonization, coordination and collaboration among
Ministries, Departments Agencies and stakeholders in the promotion, use and
development in Uganda through registration of all the stakeholders in
Also, provide a framework for assessing the responsiveness of
plans, policies, and interventions through systematic implementation of
According to Opondo, all Ugandans should prepare to start learning Kiswahili.
Kiswahili is one of the more than 60 languages used in Uganda although not
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Uganda’s move to approve the establishment of the council is also
in fulfilment of Article137 (2) of the East African Community treaty.
The article states that Kiswahili shall be developed as a lingua franca of the
community to support sustainable development and regional integration although
several member countries have not adhered to this provision of the law.
Late 2018, Kenya also approved the establishment of the National Kiswahili
Council to inform government policy on developing, protecting and supporting
Tanzania has taken the lead, promoting the language not only in Tanzania but
across the continent. In May 2019, Tanzania trained over 700 Swahili teachers
to train members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).