Kiswahili stakeholders in the East African Community member states have blamed the slow adoption of Swahili language on lack of language laboratories and libraries, political will, coupled with poor attitude and perception.
They revealed this on Thursday while speaking during the opening of a two day Chama Cha Kiswahili cha Afrika Mashariki (CHAKAMA) conference held at Kabale University.
Swahili, a common dialect among East African Community member states, was introduced in the Uganda primary school curriculum in 2000, as a basis for advancing its use as the regional bloc pushed for integration.
The Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University, Prof. Joy Kwesiga, who opened the conference, revealed that due to lack of language laboratories and Swahili books, they still face difficulty in convincing learners that Swahili is a vital language for Uganda’s set up.
Prof. Joy Kwesiga
She added that Ugandans stand to lose out on the advantages of East African Integration in terms of business, if they do not master the Swahili language.
Dr. Caroline Asiimwe, a representative from the East African Kiswahili Commission, an institution that started with the aim of developing and promoting Kiswahili among all the partner states of the East African Community, said that despite the public having negative attitude on the language, they are carryout sensitization and awareness to make the public understand the importance of the language.
The Chairperson Chama Cha Kiswahili Cha Afrika Mashariki (CHAKAMA), Dr Aida Mutenga, an association that brings together all Kiswahili lectures in Higher Institutions in East Africa argues that with the much-desired regional incorporation agenda of the East African Community to promote trade, peace and communication, learning Kiswahili will have strategic benefits to Ugandans at the global stage.