01.06.2005 -

Capacity-building in safeguarding African languages

@UNESCOJoining forces for preserving Africa’s linguistic diversity,” Mali, March 2006, ©UNESCO

Capacity-building in safeguarding African languages and oral traditions and expressions in Sub-Saharan Africa

This initiative to promote African languages aimed to:

  • Strengthen national and regional institutional capacities for language preservation,
  • Promote south-south and north-south cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa, and
  • Foster the implementation of national language policies.

The project funded the organization of the following two meetings:

  • Joining Forces for Preserving Africa’s Linguistic Diversity
  • Identifying Good Practices in Safeguarding Endangered Languages in Africa

The network-building, information sharing and peer training that took place at these meetings represent a major contribution to institutional capacity for language preservation in Sub-Saharan Africa. More concretely, the project resulted in:

  • A database of all African research institutions in the field of languages, including their past work and current research priorities, which ACALAN will use to coordinate future efforts,
  • New proposals for cooperation among the newly-established network of linguists, including a Pan-African Master’s and PhD Programme in African Languages and Applied Linguistics,
  • Petitions sent to Heads of Universities and the African Union seeking support in the formulation of language policy, and
  • African contributions to UNESCO’s ongoing Register of Good Practices in Language Preservation.



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