Ugandan Govt Allocates $800m To Teach Ugandans Kiswahili Language

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As part of efforts to foster regional integration, the Ugandan government has allocated $800m (£625m) to promote and teach the Kiswahili language in the country.

Civil servants including doctors, nurses and border workers will be given priority in the yet to be unveiled Kiswahili training programme, Uganda’s Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga said.

The minister did not give further details on when and how the training programme will be unveiled.

As part of the efforts to popularise the language in the country, Ms Kadaga said all senior government officials, including cabinet ministers and judges, were taking compulsory weekly lessons.

In July 2022, the Uganda government approved the adoption of Kiswahili as an official language and directed that it be made a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools.

But the language is currently taught in a few secondary schools in the country.

About 200 million people speak Kiswahili in the world and in 2021, the language received its biggest boost when the UN designated 7 July as World Kiswahili Language Day.

It is also the official language of the East African regional bloc, the EAC.

In 2019, Kiswahili became the only African language to be recognised by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

There are also efforts to introduce it in classrooms across South Africa and Botswana.