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Kiswahili adopted as Rwanda's fourth official language

Alongside Kinvarwanda, English and French, Kiswahili has been added as an official language in Rwanda.

Rwanda

Members of the Lower House of the Parliament passed a law on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, to establish Kiswahili as one of the official languages in the country alongside Kinyarwanda, English and French.

The recognition and decision to make Kiswahili an official language of the country is based on the commitments entered in 2007 in the East African Community, an organisation whose three founders – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – use Swahili as their language Official, alongside English.

Adopting “Kiswahili as an official language means, on the one hand, fulfilling an obligation as a member country and, on the other hand, a way of increasing the benefits that Rwanda can derive from economic integration,” Minister of Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu.

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For now, the language will primarily be used for administrative purposes, appearing as one of the official languages in some official documents.

Uwacu said that a Presidential Order would detail when Kiswahili would be incorporated in the school curriculum.

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