South Africa: African Languages Week was launched in July 2022 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, by the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), a specialized institution of the African Union. It is celebrated during the last week of January.
In 2023, it is taking place from 24 to 30 January. Its main objective is to make sure that all member states of the African Union celebrate African Languages Week to highlight the importance of the use of African Languages.
African Languages Week seeks to draw attention to the use of African languages to support the crucial role of these languages in social integration, economic development and in sustainable peace-building in Africa.
The theme of the 2023 Edition of Africa Languages Week is “African Languages for Sustainable Food Security, and Social-economic Development for Africa We Want.”
As South Africa, we are seized with the development of African indigenous languages. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture support this initiative of ACALAN to dedicate at least a week to the promotion and development of African languages.
We note further that the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and the Amazwi South African Museum of Literature are among those blazing the trail through campaigning and organizing activities highlighting the role of African languages and literature during this week.
South Africa, through the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, has embarked on the implementation of a roadmap for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL) (2022-2032), declared by the United Nations.
The Department has heeded the call from ACALAN for the development of indigenous languages as one of the mechanisms to promote multilingualism and to ensure that these African languages are not only used in daily informal discourse but also in various domains such as education, science and technology.