Pushing for Greater Usage of African Languages, ACALAN Launches Online TV

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Africa Academy of Languages (ACALAN) has launched an online TV dedicated to the promotion of Africa languages and the works of the organization.

Dr. Lang Fafa Dampha, ACALAN Executive Secretary, said the coming of the online TV will help the organization create enough awareness on the important use of African languages among the continent’s huge populations.

“I am pleased to announce that from today onward millions of people around the world are now able to follow the work of ACALAN. The coming of this platform shows our determination and commitment to get African languages widely used in workplaces and schools in writing forms.

“Although the task ahead of us is difficult, we will continue to improve to achieve the desired goals to have African languages to get proper writing form for greater usage,” he said.

The online TV, developed by Cletus Illobanafor, Director of CEOAFRICA, was used in Lome, Togo to stream live the just-ended meeting of the organization’s national structures and member states of the African Union (AU).

The TV comes at a time when the organization has been struggling to inform the continent’s population of its activities as well as the promotion of the greater use of African languages.

Dr. Dampha added the meeting was called to address a lot of issues, particularly concerning the language policy of the member states of the AU which, in some cases, do not properly call for the promotion of African languages.

He added: “We are aware that the challenges associated with the use of African languages are numerous, but we are working to make sure things get back. And that we will continue to raise awareness and advocate for the designation of national language structures and the preparation of language policy documents by member states that have not yet done so. This task we remain committed to achieving.”

Meanwhile, Liberian representative to the meeting former Assistant Minister of Culture Louise Warmenwoah McMillian re-echoed Dr. Dampha’s position for the greater usage of African Languages which she believes can be made possible through awareness by various national focal persons.

Speaking on the topic, “The Importance of African languages in Africa’s Development,” Madam McMillian said when Ebola struck Liberia, it was the use of local languages that helped eradicate the disease.

“When Ebola struck Liberia, they turned to a cartoon character that spoke English. However, that did not work. I call that a recipe for disaster. At that time, I was minister for Culture. I told the WHO that we would like to change that into our national languages and that singular move helped Liberia to be Ebola-free quicker than any other country.

“We took the cartoon character, with the approval of the President, and transformed it to our national languages and the result spoke for itself. This tells us just how important our languages can be,” she said.

Since its founding about a decade ago, the academy has made immense strides in promoting the development of Africa languages and, most importantly, the organization is about to establish a Pan-African school of translation and interpretation.

ACALAN fosters Africa’s integration and development through the development and promotion of the use of African languages in all domains of life in Africa. The academy seeks to empower African languages, promote the use of multiple languages at every level, especially in the education sector, and to ensure the development and promotion of African languages as factors of African integration and development, respect for values and mutual understanding and peace.

ACALAN website address: http://acalan.tv/newsdetail.php?tab=4

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