Akansasira: An open letter to Uganda’s Head of State

Dear HE. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the Government of the National Resistance Movement,

As a visionary leader and the father of East Africa, you have tirelessly championed the cause of regional integration and economic growth. Today, we write to you with a plea that holds the potential to unlock countless opportunities for the youth of Uganda and the entire East African region. We implore you to prioritize the adoption and promotion of Kiswahili as a common language within East Africa and across the African continent.

For far too long, Kiswahili has struggled to establish itself as a unifying language in Uganda and several other East African countries. Nations such as South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, and others continue to face the challenges of not having a common language that can facilitate seamless communication and trade. This linguistic barrier hampers the free flow of goods, services, and ideas, hindering the potential for economic growth and development.

By embracing Kiswahili as a lingua franca, East African youth will be equipped with a powerful tool that enables them to navigate the regional market with confidence and ease. With a population of over 100 million speakers worldwide, Kiswahili serves as a bridge language, connecting diverse cultures and facilitating meaningful interactions. Its adoption would foster unity, facilitate trade, and encourage cross-border collaborations, ultimately leading to shared prosperity and increased opportunities for the youth.

Moreover, the lack of a common language presents numerous challenges for young entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals. Without a lingua franca, negotiations and business transactions become arduous, time-consuming, and prone to misunderstandings. Language barriers impede the formation of networks, hinder market access, and limit the potential for innovation and growth.

By prioritizing the teaching and learning of Kiswahili, the Government of Uganda can spearhead a transformative movement that transcends borders. Initiatives could include the integration of Kiswahili into the education curricula, incentivizing businesses to adopt Kiswahili as a language of trade, and promoting cultural exchanges that emphasize the importance of multilingualism.

The benefits of embracing Kiswahili extend beyond economic advantages. It promotes cultural appreciation, fosters social cohesion, and strengthens regional ties. By embracing Kiswahili, East Africa can nurture a sense of belonging and unity among its diverse populations, fostering a spirit of cooperation and shared identity that transcends national boundaries.

HE. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, we urge you to champion this cause and rally your fellow African leaders to recognize Kiswahili as a language of opportunity. By enabling the youth to communicate effectively and engage in cross-border trade, we can unlock the immense potential of East Africa and Africa as a whole.

Let us seize this moment to create a brighter future for the youth of Uganda and East Africa.Together, we can build bridges of understanding, break down barriers, and pave the way towards a prosperous and united Africa.”

About the Author:
Cadre Akansasira Junior victor is a trained and commissioned Cadre of Political Education and Leadership Development training of August intake 2016.

Akansasira Junior victor is currently the Deputy Chairperson of Patriotic Volunteer Corps -Uganda (PVC -U) an independent umbrella formed to mobilise trained Cadres and patriots in Uganda and in Diaspora. He is a global schools advocate and mentor on SDGs and a youth empowerment enthusiast.