KAMPALA – The cabinet has finalized plans to adopt Kiswahili as a national language in Uganda. The cabinet is set to present the paperwork for approval on Monday, September 9, as an obligation to the East African Community.
The language is expected to make it easier to build good relationships and trust when working with different people since it is the most widely spoken language in the East African region.
“East Africa has hundreds of tribes and languages and the language barrier has been an issue. Kiswahili can become the common medium of communication because it is widely spoken in the region. So we need to adopt a language which is close to our way of life but also the language known to many people,” said State Minister of Gender, Peace Mutuuzo.
Hon Mutuuzo further revealed that Kiswahili will be the official medium of communication aboard the Uganda Airline flights because it’s hard to communicate in all the 65 Ugandan languages.
“We are in the final stages of establishing a Kiswahili Council and parliament will discuss the matter to ensure that there is harmony within East African countries in adopting Kiswahili as a medium of communication in the region,” said Hon Mutuuzo while addressing journalists at the media center in Kampala.
Luganda has for long been the most widely spoken language across the country especially during informal commercial transactions in shops, markets, commuter taxis, buses and other public means of travel.
English is the official language of communication by default since Uganda is a former British colony/protectorate.
Kiswahili is widely spoken in most parts of the East African region, the lingo in Uganda is commonly used by UPDF soldiers and the armed forces from previous political regimes.
But many media houses especially television and radio stations in Uganda host news bulletins in Kiswahili in acknowledgment of the many viewers and listeners across the country.
This move will further widen this audience.