News Brief

Kiswahili to Become an Official Language of the East African Community

The widely spoken East African language has also been adopted in schools this academic year.

Kiswahili—the lingua franca of 100 million people in Kenya, Tanzania and many parts of Southeast Africa—will be made the official language of the East African community.


The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has passed a resolution to make Swahili the second official language, which means it’ll be integrated into all meetings, correspondences and discussions happening in the region, CCTV Africa reports. The first language of the Swahili people has also been adopted in schools this academic year with the expectation that it can encourage educational breakthroughs and instill confidence in students. And it’s been an official language of the African Union since 2004.

Kiswahili (as it’s called by its speakers, “ki” denoting language in Bantu) is deeply rooted in everyday conversations in Tanzania and Kenya, and is more practical than English in countries like Burundi that prefers French. The traditional language of Indian Ocean trade has many Arab and Persian influences. It’s also the second official language of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

So why is the EALA changing up all of a sudden?

Renewed interest in Kiswahili makes it attractive for unifying the East African region. Apparently, legislators who presented the motion, argue it proved invaluable when East African nations joined forces to overthrow colonial rule.

As Rwandan legislator Patricia Hajabakiga puts it, according to The Citizen, “Besides promoting unity among the EAC populace, Kiswahili is a critical medium of communication that will facilitate trade in the region.”

The assembly is soliciting the help of specific interest groups focused on youth, women and civil society to assist in fast-tracking the language’s adoption in East African countries like Uganda that does not speak it currently.

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Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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