By fmlemwa – February 9, 2017
Rwanda’s members of parliament have passed an organic law that established Swahili as an official language in the East African nation.
According to the New Times, the lower house passed the law on Wednesday. The language will be used for administrative purposes, used in official languages in some official documents. Swahili becomes the fourth language after Kinyarwanda, English and French.
“Rwanda joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2007 and in the statute that establishes this bloc, Swahili is universally used in the region and members are requested to make Swahili one of their official languages,” said Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu
The minister added that the law was passed as an obligation to the EAC and also as an opportunity to benefit in the region.
“Swahili as an official language is, on one hand, fulfilling what we are required to do as a member country but, on the other hand, it’s a way to increase the benefits that Rwandans can reap from economic integration.” Said Ms Uwacu
With the East African passport kicking off January this year, the bill was passed without going through standing committees for further reviews.
“We are going to introduce a curriculum and teaching material and we will definitely take advantage of the relationship that we have with other partner states who already use the language,” the minister said
Minister Uwacu elaborated that the Presidential order will give the details on when the language will be incorporated in school curriculum.