Kiswahili a learning strategic alongside oil developments – Maj Muganzi

Maj Francis Muganzi, the Albertine Regional Internal Security Officer (RISO) in-charge of Oil and Gas.

Maj Francis Muganzi, the Albertine Regional Internal Security Officer (RISO) in-charge of Oil and Gas, challenges the dwellers of the Albertine region to embrace leaning Kiswahili language for strategic reasons since the oil developments are attracting people from many countries under the East African Community (EAC) unified by the Kiswahili lingua franca.

He adds that the government is doing its role systematically to promote Kiswahili but individual efforts can go a long way supplementing it to put Ugandans at the same level with other EAC member countries especially Kenya and Tanzania.

According to him, he encourages people to learn even Chinese and French if an opportunity strikes since language learning is full of benefits.

He reveals that some investors from China and France normally look for translation services, an opportunity that local people can take up.

Sound bite: Muganzi on learning Kiswahili (English)

The army officer was speaking on behalf of Hoima City Resident Commissioner at Glory Summit Hotel, during a dissemination workshop for a research report on Kiswahili language usage conducted by Makerere University with funding from the government of Uganda.

At the same function, Mr John Kibego, the author of the popular book, ‘Learn Kiswahili at Home,’ challenged government to allocate special funds to promote Kiswahili in the Albertine region since it is recognised as a special planning area.

He said language should also be identified as a social component in the special planning concept of the region.

“The infrastructure being constructed including the airport, the industrial parks at the refinery area, Tilenga and Buhuka projects show you that many people are coming to this region. Kiswahili can help both elites and English language illiterates as it has tested when you go to Kyangwali refugee settlement and the Lake Albert shores,” he said.

SP Alex Wabwire, the Hoima City Police Commander (CPC) highlighted the need to attach strings of Kiswahili literacy to some offices in order to promote it amongst the leaders so they can stand as examples to the public.

“For example they can make it a policy that to be a Member of Parliament for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Kiswahili language literacy must be a requirement,” he suggested.

SP Alex Wabwire, the Hoima City Police Commander (CPC).

The Hoima District Kadhi, Sheikh Musa Mabanja, said that the Islamic religion already has strategies in their administration to promote Kiswahili even during recruitment in high positions.

He said literates in Arabic and Kiswahili languages will always have an advantage hence calling upon the general public to take it up.

Dr Caroline Asiimwe, the Principal Investigator for this research, said she had been motivated by the research finding that 85% of interviews indicated that they love Kiswahili but lack an environment and materials to teach them.

“This shows that when we work together to sensitise our people, we can take tremendous steps and get to the same level with other EAC member countries.

Employment and business opportunities that can be facilitated by literacy of Kiswahili language are among the direct benefits of learning it.

From left: Dr Caroline Asiimwe, Dr Caesar Jingo and Mr Richard Kasangaki – researchers from Makerere University during a talk show on Spice FM in Hoima City about Kiswahili language usage in Uganda.

According to Dr Asiimwe, the study also indicated that there is inadequacy of Kiswahili teachers in Hoima city and district – a case which was isolated in the country.

Dr Caesar Jingo, a lecturer at Makerere University noted that it was high time Ugandans heightened efforts to learn Kiswahili utilising every available avenue since “the language is rapidly expanding across the globe including universities in America and Europe,” he said.


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