The Tanzania Times Newspaper
A Publication of the Eastern Africa News Network, the Times of Tanzania is one of the leading media outlets in the Sub-Saharan African Region

Arusha becomes first African Venue to host World Esperanto Congress in 2024

The First ever World Esperanto Congress to take place on the African Continent will be held in Arusha, the Northern Tanzania City.

Known as ‘Universala Kongreso de Esperanto,’ the event is within the series of annual Esperanto conventions that have been held every year since 1905.

Tanzania will be hosting the 109 instalment of the global Esperanto Congress sometime in July 2024.

So far it is being anticipated that the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC) will serve as the main venue for the 2024 conference, though according to organizers plans are sometimes subjected to change without notice.

The event is expected to attract between 1500 and 2000 participants from all over the world.

It may not be popular around these shores but Esperanto is the most widely spoken international auxiliary language.
Organized by the Universal Esperanto Association, these International conferences have the longest tradition with almost unbroken annual runs for 113 years.

They have been faithfully held yearly except during World War I, World War II, and the two consecutive years of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the period between 1985 and 2014, the events have been gathering an average of about 2,000 participants.

From the post-World War II era each gathering has been attracting between 800 and 6,000 delegates depending on the venue.

Until 1980, meetings were held in Europe and the United States, with Germany topping the bill in hosting most of the events.

However Japan hosted one of the congresses in 1965.

Afterwards, conferences have been taking place in other countries such as Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, South Korea, Australia, Israel, Vietnam and Argentina.

In 2023 the Esperanto Conference took place in Italy. So far, the average number of countries represented is about 60.

The 1908 Esperanto Conference

Now for the first time in History, the 2024 World Esperanto Conference is being held in Africa.

Tanzania becomes the first country on the continent to host the event in the country’s Northern City of Arusha.

Esperanto is the most widely spoken international auxiliary language.

Essentially a constructed language, Esperanto was created in 1887 by the Polish ophthalmologist Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof of Warsaw.

Initially, Esperanto was meant to be the second universal language for international communication or ‘la Lingvo Internacia.’

Esperanto was founded upon the basis of creating an easy to learn language.

Things like Irregular verbs, complex conjugations, double and unnecessary words were deleted from it.

It is believed that most people have been able to learn Esperanto five-times faster than other languages.

Despite the fact that Esperanto was initially created to be an auxiliary language, there is a cohort of more than 1000 people who claim it as their first ever language.