Executive Secretary of the African Academy of Language (ACALAN), Dr. Lang Fafa Dampha described 2018 as a largely successful year for ACALAN.
He stated this in an exclusive interview with CEOAfrica following a workshop organised for media practitioners in Kigali.
Dr. Dampha said, “We established Vehicular Cross Border Language (VCBL) commissions, harmonized writing systems of VCBL commissions so that we can use them more effectively in the education system, in the media, meetings, etc. We have also launched the Pan African School for Interpretation and Translation to train Young Africans in the art of interpretation and translation so that we can use African languages as effective languages of development in Africa. We will be translating from Kiswahili to Lingala, from Wolof to Mandekan, from Yoruba to Betifang, etc. We will also be training people to do translation and interpretation from African languages to our former colonial languages which we are considering as partner languages.”
He added that while the Academy is not averse to other languages, the development of African languages is key for the socio-economic development of the African continent.
“ACALAN is not against any language we are embracing all languages but we want linguistic justice in the sense that African people can rely on their language they can also embrace other languages for their development but they cannot develop themselves effectively sustainably without using their languages or in using other foreign languages. So we are doing that to empower our languages.
“We have developed terminologies in specific domains like health and legal sector. We are building corpus for the Kiswahili vehicular cross border language. ACALAN have working structures and organs that have the expertise to support its programs. The Secretariat is eager to commend 2019 program, 2019 programs will on pragmatism, what we have initiated will be implemented to try to develop African languages. 60% of Africans living within Africa don’t speak English, French, Spanish or Portuguese they speak their national languages, so we need to develop these languages for the people to use so as to participate in the development of their respective countries and by extension the continental development,” he said.
According to him, ACALAN is also lining up programs to involve the youth in the developmental process.
“We engaged all sector of the African society, this year we will run a major program for the youths, because the youths are the backbone of our development. The youth population is very important and we need to bring them on board in all our working structures, organs and programs they will participate and we will be counting on the support of our resource persons, working structures and other sectors whether governmental or non-governmental,” he said.
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