Botswana, the world’s largest producer of diamonds, is set to begin the teaching of Swahili language in its schools.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Basic Education, Fidelis Molao, on Wednesday, At a language teaching workshop in Francistown, Botswana’s second-largest city,
Molao said that Swahili language will be introduced in schools in future.
Swahili is a Bantu language spoken mainly in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, and also in Burundi, Mozambique, Oman, Somalia the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa by about 98 million people.
Swahili is an official language of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, and is used as a lingua franca throughout East Africa.
If introduced, Swahili will be the first African language from outside the boundaries of the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region will be one of the major trading partners with many Swahili-speaking countries in the near future, which Botswana needs most as it is vying for an export-led economy, Molao said.
English, French and Portuguese are the three languages currently used by the SADC.
On Wednesday, the Ethiopian embassy in Beijing also announced the Beijing Foreign Studies University is offering a degree programme in Ethiopia’s widely spoken Amharic language.
The full course at degree level is China’s latest effort to improve ties between the two countries.
About 30 students applied to learn the language at Beijing Foreign Studies University, with 12 of them starting the course on Monday.
Amharic is an Ethio-Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages.
It is spoken as a first language by the Amharas and as a lingua franca by other populations residing in major cities and towns of Ethiopia
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