President Yoweri Museveni has challenged delegates and Members of Parliament from the East African Community (EAC) partner states to use the similarity of languages to cement the union of the region.
The President was opening the 7th Inter-Parliamentary Relations Seminar (NANYUKI) in Entebbe organized by the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) to bring on board parliamentarians from member states to help formulate policies and recommendations on how to integrate the EAC.
The delegation was working around a theme “Promoting a People Centred and Market Driven East Africa.”
Museveni told the delegates that while colonialists used the different dialects to divide and rule Africans, they are actually quite similar. He said this similarity could be used to unite the people.
He pointed out some few words that are used in different African countries having the same meaning to show the linkage among Africans testifying that they are the same people with the same dialect that should be used to unify the East African Community.
He urged the political leaders and the East African people not to confine themselves to the boundaries or political lines that were drawn by colonialists which he called a historical fridge that conserves weakness among Africans.
He further called upon the political leaders to acquire Pan-African spectacles but not political spectacles to identify the lines drawn by colonialists that keep Africans divided in order to pave way for a new beginning.
MP Milton Muwuma, one of the delegates from the Uganda Parliament, said that Africans are always divided over a few things like tribes, languages and religion yet they are the basic things that should help to build the East African Community.
He added that when this is enhanced in the region it can be used to promote unity. He went on to say these ties could be used to help Africans trade better with each other.
Kenyan National Assembly MP for Meru County Florence Kajuju Gitonga said that president Museveni’s idea of unifying a language for the EAC is very important if the community is to achieve a common market, unity and political federation.
She said that the different dialects that are in the African Communities are directly linked and hence being easy to unify their languages into Kiswahili in order to achieve the community goals.