Scholars hype Kiswahili in knowledge dissemination

ALTHOUGH African researched knowledge has to be put in English to reach many beneficiaries, Kiswahili is as well one of the languages that may help to spread the literary works. English language is spoken by many people on the African continent that has over one thousand local languages used in small tribes.

But, Kiswahili, which is rapidly growing, is also spoken by considerable number of people in East and central African countries.

This was said by the Senior Lecturer at school of Journalism and Mass communication of the University of Dar es salaam (UDSM) Dr Michael Andindilile over the weekend after launching five books by junior African scholars from five different African countries who are financed by African Humanities Programme (AHP)

“For African scholars and residents at large to understand social challenges, culture, tales and research findings from a given location, English language must be used,” he said while citing example of some literature works that were published in some indigenous African languages but later necessitated their translation into English to spread the message.

AHP Coordinator Professor Sandra Barnes said the programme, sponsored by the New York based American Council of learned society, was launched in 2008 with the aim of helping transpiring social science research knowledge from one African country to another.

The programme cover five countries—Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. Professor Barnes said that the idea came after realising that African scholars were producing knowledge in the fields of humanities which didn’t circulate to reach and benefit wider audience.

She said that the junior faculty member visits other academic institutions within or outside their countries conducting researches through sabbatical leaves.

Dr Andindile whose launched publication was titled; “The Anglophone literary-linguistic continuum: English and indigenous languages in African literary discourse,” noted that linguistic challenges were still hindering circulation of knowledge.


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