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Adopted as a Working Language at the AU: a Push to Make Kiswahili Africa’s Lingua Franca 

Kiswahili is spoken across eastern and central Africa. Mother-tongue speakers are found mainly along the coast, but Kiswahili is spoken as a second or third language by people around the world. According to UNESCO, which in 2021 proclaimed 7 July as World Kiswahili Language Day, it’s spoken by 200 million people. Many, including literary heavyweights Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o from Kenya and Wole Soyinka from Nigeria, have advocated for the embracing of Kiswahili as a pan-African language of communication. But there’s legitimate concern that the expanded use of Kiswahili in official and unofficial realms could endanger the linguistic diversity of east Africa. Morgan J. Robinson is a historian of east Africa with a research focus on language who has published a book on Kiswahili called A Language for the World.