“We need to look at language constraints to understand why African countries are not reaching development goals.”
—Emeritus Professor Ayo Bamgbose
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

2013 Language & Development Conference

 

Cape Town, South Africa

'Opportunity, Equity and Identity beyond 2015'

 

Publications

Search for articles in the final publication here.

 

Videos

Dr. Evelyn Chibaka Fogwe
Univeristy of Buea, Cameron

“A diverse garden is more beautiful”

   

Dr. John Rutayisere
Education Board, Rwanda

“How many textbooks will you write?”

 

   

Laurentius Davids
NIED, Namibia

People see multilingualism as an impediment”

All Videos

'How many textbooks will you write?' - John Rutayisire 1:22
'A diverse garden is more beautiful' - Evelyn Chibaka Fogwe 0:55
'People see multilingualism as an impediment' - Laurentius Davids 1:11
'You don't really see that rainbow' - Vuyokazi Nomlomo 1:30
'This language is the language of everybody' - Jimmy Harmon 1:31
'Better social relations in the country' - Haroon Mohammed
1:29
'You are fighting to learn the language' - Gregory Kamwendo
0:41
'Kiswahili is indeed an African language' - Rachel Maina 0:50
'We are able to join the world' - Nancy Ayodi
0:33
'It is the normal thing to do' - Deng Deng Hoc Yai
0:38
'We need to carry along the others' - Ayo Bamgbose
0:33
'They need to change their attitude' - Prosperous Nankindu
0:49
'It helps learners' - Jesca Nakibirango 0:40
'We want to fight the hegemony' - Mompoloki Bagwasi
0:55
'We need to preserve the languages' - Nhlanhla Landa
1:02
'They are more confident' - Arnauld Aguidissou
1:01
'It is the African reality' - Busani Maseko
1:13
'Children should become literate in their first language' - Hywel Coleman
1:45
'You cannot have one language dominate' - Godfrey Sentumbwe
0:40

 

Conference Quotes

s    s
Ntombizanele Mahobe   Hugh Moffatt and Martin Davidson joins in on a trilingual song lead by Ntombizanele Mahobe
Martin Davidson, British Council Chief Executive   "English must be in addition to an individual’s first languages, not instead of them."  

Martin Davidson, British Council Chief Executive
Professor Sozinho Matsinhe, ACALAN Executive Secretary   "You can’t dream in one language and wake up trying to implement it in another language."

Professor Sozinho Matsinhe, ACALAN Executive Secretary
Professor John Joseph, University of Edinburgh, UK  

"The English language is diversifying so fast that the English spoken by native English speakers can be unintelligible to others."  

Professor John Joseph, University of Edinburgh, UK

Rachel Maina, Mount Kenya University, Kenya  

"‘There is a Kikuyu proverb that says “itininanagira nyeki”, which means that there’s enough grass for all the cows. There are roles for each of our languages in society."

Rachel Maina, Mount Kenya University, Kenya

   

We need to look at language constraints to understand why African countries are not reaching development goals.” 

Emeritus Professor Ayo Bamgbose University of Ibadan, Nigeria

   

We need to have a collective discourse that will mobilize all Africans, using the languages we know best – African languages.

Professor Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe, Executive Secretary AU-ACALAN

   

You can transform the way children learn to read and write, by putting stories at the centre of their biliteracy learning.”

Dr Carole Bloch, Director PRAESA, University of Cape Town, South Africa

   

In many developing countries, children are more likely to drop out of school if the school language is not their home language

Hywel Coleman, Honorary Fellow, University of Leeds

   

There are very few African countries that have formulated meaningful language policies. A low opinion of African languages and a lack of political will may be the cause.

Professor Al Mtenje, University of Malawi

   

African countries adopted various languages policies since their independence in the early 1960s. An ideal language policy should benefit all linguistic communities, including the minority.

Professor Herman Batibo, University of Botswana

   

In Africa children have to learn through a language of a small minority, a language neither they nor their teachers master well.  How is it possible to give quality education for all in a language mastered by few?

Professor Birgit Brock-Utne, University of Oslo, Norway

   

Burkina Faso has developed a monolingual French formal education system, although it is in reality a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual country

Professor Norbert Nikièma, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

   

Young people in many low income countries complete primary education without achieving more than a basic level of literacy

Professor Angeline Barrett, University of Bristol

   

Policies that replace English as an instructional medium by other languages - thought to be more local – may not be feasible for political and economic reasons.

Dr Gibson Ferguson, University of Sheffield, UK

   

People of the north grapple with multilingualism as diversity seeps into cities. Countries of the global south, however, have for at least two millennia managed diversity and thus have expertise which may be shared with the north.”

Professor Kathleen Heugh, University of South Australia

Media Coverage

News24 reports - "Language important for learning - Angie Motshekga"

Business Day reports - "Motshekga defends use of African languages"