Swahili: The Promising Official Language of Africa

Salamu ndugu wa Kiafrika!!!

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili (translation: language of the Swahili people) has its origins from the Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It has borrowed words from other languages such as Arabic probably as a result of the Swahili people using the “Quran written in Arabic for spiritual guidance as Muslims”

Swahili has official language positioning in Tanzania and Kenya and is also extensively spoken in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros Islands with lesser numbers in Burundi, Rwanda, Northern Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.

It remains unknown, how many people speak Swahili across the continent; however, it is estimated that “there are about 16 million people throughout the world who speak a dialect of Swahili as a native language. As a second language, it has about 82 million speakers to 90 million”

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Swahili is one of the rare indigenous languages in Africa that is well developed, structured and studied in University up to Ph.D. level.

The adoption of the Bantu originated dialectic language has helped to address to a great extent the issue of tribalism in States that adopted it as an official language, in Africa. Consequently calls by Pan Africans for the adoption of Swahili as the official language of Africa continues to mount.

The diverse nature of the language with a large Arabic influence, with borrowed words from languages such as English, German, and Portuguese and taking in consideration the colonial history of the continent draw round more reason for the adoption of the language as the official language of Africa as efforts for the political unification of continent the continues.

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