TANZANIA TIMES
The Times of Tanzania

French, Kiswahili Now Become official languages of the East African Community

With DR Congo already on board, the East African Community is left with no choice but include French in the list of the Region’s official languages

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The East African Community is adopting a roadmap to add French and Kiswahili as the official languages of the bloc.

Currently, the EAC is using English as its official Medium of Communication.

The inclusion of DR Congo in the community is described to be the major catalyst in including French to become yet another official language in the community.

With the three languages, French, English and Kiswahili, the East African Community will be able to easily communicate with 90 percent of the global population.

Observers feel the EAC is heading towards becoming a new Super-Power bloc on the continent.

EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania

Congo-Kinshasa, which recently joined the East African Community, has a population of 92 million, most of the country’s residents are French speakers.

DR Congo is the most populous Francophonic country in the world. With an area of 2.3 million square kilometers, DRC is also the second largest country in Africa after Algeria.

Pivoted in Arusha, Tanzania, the East African Community comprises Seven Member States at the moment.

The EAC member states are Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda and Burundi are also French speaking countries, though Rwanda has been slowly adopting English.

Kiswahili, on the other hand, has always been considered as ‘Lingua Franca,’ in the community. It seems the language is now piggy backs on French in entering the EAC official languages’ hall.

The popular language has always been left out despite the fact that Kiswahili is being spoken by most people in Kenya, Tanzania and the entire Eastern parts of DR Congo.

Kiswahili is also used by some people in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

The Southern African Development Community recently also adopted Kiswahili to be the Region’s official language

In addition to Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo residents, nearly 50 million other Africans speak French on the continent.

The Language is means of communication in countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia.

French is spoken by more than 350 million people around the world.

Kiswahili on the other hand is said to be spoken by more than 100 million people globally.

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