The Ministry of East African Community Affairs is engaging the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to establish the National Kiswahili Council in Uganda.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community, Rebecca Kadaga, says the Council will champion Kiswahili development initiatives at national level.
“I wish inform you that they have prepared a cabinet paper on this matter and it guided that an organisational structure of the National Kiswahili Council and its attendant cost implications be developed for consideration by cabinet before approval,” she said.
She said this in a statement made to Parliament on Tuesday on the implementation of the 21st East African Community Summit Directive on Uganda to adopt Kiswahili as an official language of the community.
Ms Kadaga added that the Council will expected to focus on research, journal and manual publications, supplement efforts to translate key EAC policy documents and execute outreach activities to promote Kiswahili.
“There is need to enhance ability to communicate in Kiswahili by businessmen engaging in cross border trade, thus, enhancing intra-regional trade and facilitating the implementation of the Common Market Protocol,” she said.
The minister recommended that government supplies sensitisation material and make media broadcasts in Kiswahili as well support professional translators to translate government documents.
She also recommended support for adult literacy teaching programmes for Kiswahili, establishment of Kiswahili focal persons in districts and the encouragement of use of Kiswahili in offices.
“My ministry is engaging Kiswahili trainers to train cabinet and permanent secretaries. We coordinated development of Kiswahili Training Manual for the parliament of Uganda which was approved by the 16th Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for education and forwarded to the Clerk to Parliament for implementation.”
Ms Kadaga told Parliament that the East African Kiswahili Commission prioritised the Parliament of Uganda as a key entry point for Kiswahili to be taken up as an official language in Uganda.
“The use of Kiswahili language in Parliament would inspire other institutions of government as well as state and non-state actors on promoting the use of Kiswahili in both official and non-official domains,” she said.
She revealed that the EAC Ministry is coordinating a programme to establish East African Community clubs in secondary schools that will promote the use of Kiswahili among students.