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Govt moves to streamline use of Kiswahili language

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Government has proposed the establishment of a Kiswahili Council as a government agency that will promote the usage of the Kiswahili language in Uganda.

The proposal is contained in the Uganda National Kiswahili Council Bill, 2023 that was tabled for first reading by the State Minister for Gender (Disability Affairs), Hon. Hellen Asamo, on Wednesday, 28 February 2023.






The Bill seeks to operationalize the Article 6(2) of the Constitution and the Protocol on the establishment the East African Kiswahili Commission.

Article 6(2) reads that; “Subject to clause (1) of this article, any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as may be prescribed by law”.



The Council proposed by the Bill will also coordinate the usage of Kiswahili language in administrative, judicial and legislative process as a medium of communication by local governments.




The language will also be promoted at all level of society including as a medium of instruction in the country’s educational institutions.



The Bill among other provisions, seeks to establish the secretariat of the Council to be headed by an executive secretary, provide for funds and auditing of the Council, and provide for making of byelaws to regulate the affairs of the staff of the Council.

East African partner states concluded on the Protocol of the establishment of the East African Kiswahili Commission that promoted usage of the language within the East African Community, through National Kiswahili Councils like the one to be established under the Bill.

The Speaker, Anita Among, referred the Bill to the Committee on Gender, Labor and Social Development for scrutiny, with a report expected within 45 days as prescribed by the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.