... Prospects of becoming an official SADC language are very high
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers has recommended that Kiswahili be adopted as the fourth medium of communication within the region.
This was announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi when closing the SADC Council of Ministers in Dar es Salaam yesterday, noting that 106 other recommendations were adopted at the meeting.
The currently applicable languages are English, Portuguese and French. According to Prof Kabudi, who is the current chairperson of the bloc's Council of Ministers, said the recommendation will be tabled during the 39th Summit of Heads of State and Government which is scheduled to be held in the city on Saturday and Sunday.
"I would like to extend my recognition to the council for adopting the recommendation considering that Kiswahili was used by all freedom fighters while they were in the country undergoing various training as part of the preparations for fighting colonialism.
"This is an honour to the late founding father of our nation... by arriving at the decision, to the use of Kiswahili and the cost will be for the entire SADC region and not only Tanzania," said Prof Kabudi.
At a briefing session with journalists after the two-day meeting, Prof Kabudi noted that theme of the summit, 'A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, increased Intra-Regional trade, and job creation' was proposed by Tanzania and had been adopted by the Council of Ministers.
He said that the theme will be a guiding force throughout the year, with Tanzania assuming the role of chairmanship of SADC.
The minister added that industrialization will be the main focus throughout, the major goal being to ensure that the countries develop economically and be able to take charge of their own economies.
Plus, the issue of intraregional trade, considering that the trade volume for the region stood at only 20 per cent, which is very low.
He was sure that upon the realization of that ideal, member states will not only produce for the consumption of their own countries but for the entire region.
"Sixty per cent of the population in the region accounts for youth, therefore the move will also create ways for sustainable development and create jobs for the youth as an area which has been stressed in the theme," he said.
Prof Kabudi further disclosed that the meeting recommended the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe, noting that the elections had passed, the situation had stabilized and there was thus no need of subjecting the country to a difficult situation.
He said that the decision was not only affecting the country as a whole but was putting women and children in a devastating situation.
"We have embarked on a concerted effort to ensure that the sanctions are removed," he further explained.