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Mombasa: All set for 3rd EAC World Kiswahili Langauge Day

The objective of the 3rd EAC World International Kiswahili Day and the 2nd EAKC International Conference is to explore the role of Kiswahili and multilingual education in fostering a culture of peace.

ARUSHA July 4, 2024 – Preparations are in high gear for the 3rd EAC World Kiswahili Language Day and the 2nd East African Kiswahili Commission [EAKC] International Conference scheduled for  July 5-7, 2024 in Mombasa, Kenya.

The three-day events under the theme Kiswahili, Multilingual Education and the Enhancement of Peace will provide a platform for Kiswahili stakeholders to share knowledge, evidence from research, best practices, experiences and worldviews on the role Kiswahili education plays in the enhancement of a culture of peace.

The objective of the 3rd EAC World International Kiswahili Day and the 2nd EAKC International Conference is to explore the role of Kiswahili and multilingual education in fostering a culture of peace.

The celebrations organised by the East African Community [EAC] and the Republic of Kenya is expected to bring together diverse stakeholders including, but not limited to researchers, academics, practitioners, students, policy makers, language councils, language associations, the media and other Kiswahili stakeholders from the EAC and beyond.

The participants will use three days of the conference and celebrations day to discuss how Kiswahili and multilingual education are and can be used to educate society on the enhancement of peace at local, national, regional and global levels. The meeting will also consider policy implications for the use of Kiswahili and multilingualism for peace education and make recommendations on the use of Kiswahili and multilingualism in promoting a culture of peace.

The celebrations for this year’s Kiswahili Day and Conference will feature among other things: youth mentorship and engagements with other stakeholders, media engagement and awareness creation activities as well as outreach activities including tree planting and cultural activities.

The 2nd East African Kiswahili International Conference on July 5-6, 2024 will deliberate on different sub-themes include: Kiswahili, Multilingualism and Peace; Kiswahili Education and Peace; Kiswahili, Regional Integration and Peace; Kiswahili, Peace and Sustainable Development; Kiswahili in local, national, regional and global peace; Kiswahili, Youth and Peace Education; Kiswahili, Refugee Education and Peace, and Kiswahili, Media and Peace Education.

Speaking ahead of the EAC Kiswahili Day, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectors, Andrea Aguer Ariik, said that Kiswahili Day serves as a reminder of the importance of language diversity and unity in the EAC.

“Kiswahili, as widely spoken language in East Africa, not only bridges communication gaps but also represents a common identity among the member states of the EAC,” said Ariik.

“As we look forward to commemorating the EAC Kiswahili Day, let us embrace the language, its richness and its ability to bring us together as a diverse yet united East African Community,” he added.

The day  July 7th, was declared as World Kiswahili Language Day by the 41st General Conference of UNESCO which met in November 2021. The 42nd Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers adopted the declaration of  July 7th as World Kiswahili Language Day and directed that it be celebrated annually on a rotational basis among the EAC Partner States.

Consequently, the First EAC World Kiswahili Language Day was held in Zanzibar from July 6-7, 2022. Following the approval by the 18th Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports [SCESTCS], the 2nd EAC World Kiswahili Day was held in Kampala, Uganda from July 5 –7, 2023. The Chief Guest for the celebrations was Right Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who represented the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.

The 35th Meeting of the Council approved the hosting of the First East African Kiswahili International Conference. The conference was held from September 6-8, 2017 in Zanzibar. The theme of the conference was Transforming the EAC through Kiswahili.

The conference brought together Kiswahili stakeholders, policymakers, development partners, the media, academia, Kiswahili councils, Kiswahili associations, thought leaders and students. The conference was attended by 225 participants. The 37th Council considered and approved that the 2nd EAKC Kiswahili International Conference be held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2019.

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