Features

Multiculturalism, pluralism, multilingualism

ADAMA Samassekou (right) with journalist Daniel Sikazwe in a UNESCO headquarters lobby.

DANIEL SIKAZWE, Paris, France
IN THE magnificent walls of UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 15 Africans walked up and down speaking passionately about what they were doing to promote African languages in their countries.
It was in December, 2019.
When night fell, the Africans spent hours in hotel lobbies, in restaurants and pubs lobbying westerners to help the Africans to reclaim or salvage what’s left of the fast vanishing heritage of African languages.
The 15 Africans spoke English, French, Portuguese and Arabic – to one another and to the westerners. Their tongues were ‘tied’ by a history and world that bequeathed on to Africa the five languages the Africans spoke.
While that was happening in Paris, in Addis Ababa, preparations for breaking down barriers to free movement of goods and services across what in hackneyed parlance are called artificial borders in Africa were being hushed up.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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