The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) celebrated the World Kiswahili Language Day on seventh July. The Kiswahili language unit of United Nations Radio was established in the 1950s. Currently, Kiswahili is the only African language in the Directorate of Global Communications at the United Nations. Kiswahili is the main African Language to have this honor. Swahili language or kiSwahili is another name for kiSwahili. The day offers a stage to advance the capability of Kiswahili to accomplish both the UN Plan 2030 for Manageable Turn of events and the African Association Plan 2063.
Why on July 7?
The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), led by the late First President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, adopted Kiswahili as a unified language for independence struggles on July 7, 1954.
Why learn Kiswahili?
Kiswahili is the most important and widely studied indigenous language of Africa, the National and official language of Kenya and Tanzania. From Southern Somalia in the north all the way down to the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts, it is spoken as a native tongue on the East African coast and the adjacent islands.
It is broadcast on radio stations like Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, and the British Broadcasting Corporation.It is heard in songs of famous singers such as Miriam Makeba and in popular films like the Lion King. African-Americans refer to their annual cultural festival as Kwanzaa, which is derived from the Kiswahili word kwanza or ‘first.’
Kiswahili is shown in academic institutions from Japan in the East to Mexico in the west. It is possible to use it to meet language requirements. The study of Kiswahili likewise gives fascinating issues in regards to language arrangements and language arranging. Anything that the area of exploration one is in, be it phonetics, human studies, geology, paleohistory, or even social science, information on Kiswahili and its numerous assortments is fundamental assuming one is working in the East African locale. There are many advantages of knowing the Kiswahili language, including the way that it fills in as a decent vehicle to getting to Swahili culture. The written tradition and remarkable history of Kiswahili are extensive. Lastly, knowing Kiswahili increases the credibility of East African researchers.
History of the Day:
In its resolution 71/328 of September 11, 2017, on multilingualism, the United Nations General Assembly commended the establishment of a day dedicated to each of its official languages to inform and raise awareness of their history, culture, and use. It also encouraged the Secretary-General and organizations like UNESCO to think about expanding this important initiative to other non-official languages that are spoken all over the world.
In such manner, the 41st meeting of the Overall Gathering of UNESCO embraced goal 41 C/61 that perceived the job the Kiswahili language plays in advancing social variety, making mindfulness and encouraging exchange among civilizations and noticed the need to advance multilingualism as a fundamental belief of the Unified Countries and a fundamental figure agreeable correspondence between people groups, which advances solidarity in variety and worldwide grasping, resistance and discourse.
The World Kiswahili Language Day was established on July 7 each year by Resolution 41 C/61, which was approved on November 23, 2021, during the 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO. The purpose of World Kiswahili Language Day, which is observed annually, is to encourage the use of the Kiswahili language as a symbol of peace, unity, and increased multiculturalism.
Theme of Kiswahili Language Day:
This year, the theme of the “Unleashing Kiswahili’s potential in the digital era”
Significance of Kiswahili:
- Kiswahili is one of the top ten most spoken languages in the world, with over 200 million speakers.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, Kiswahili is the most widely spoken language.
- In many countries in East, Central, and Southern Africa as well as the Middle East, Kiswahili is one of the lingua franca (common language).
- The Kiswahili language is one of the official languages of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). Note: The UN laid out the Kiswahili language unit of UN Radio during the 1950s
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