AU To Adopt Indigenous African Languages From 2063 

Ferdinard Anikwe

Ferdinard Anikwe

In 50 years’ time, precisely by 2063, African Union may likely adopt indigenous African languages as means of deliberations in African Union meetings.

The resolution was reached at the Pan-African Cultural Congress Bureau meeting held late May in South Africa. At the Congress meeting, Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) Mr. Ferdinard Anikwe was elected chairman of the Bureau.

In a conversation with The Guardian, the newly elected head of Bureau said the Bureau was saddled among other responsibilities the task of reviewing cultural programmes in Africa with a view to coming up with policies as they affect member nations of African Union.

According to Anikwe, those who participated in the congress from various African nations were mandated to develop programmes and policies that would guide cultural practice in Africa, especially the cultural policies that would guide African cultural behaviour by the year 2063.

He said, “As a result, there was a call on all the member states to develop their indigenous languages to the standard that they could be translated during deliberations and understood by members.

So, those who do not have scholarly development of their languages were advised to do so by the members of the Pan-African Bureau in Johannesburg”. He added that the emphasis on indigenous languages was a way of guaranteeing employments for graduates of local languages.

Other issues discussed by the bureau include patronage of local fabrics, as a dress culture of choice. Anikwe, who described the Pan-African Cultural Congress as a harvest for cultural ideas and views, decried that most participants at the congress dressed in foreign attire, adding, “The bureau also talked about dress culture.

By way of suggestion, I told them that we are talking about colonization while most of the members were totally colonized by what they were putting on.

This is because a lot of Africans who participated were putting on suit. I told them that we should come back to our indigenous attire and dress pattern. “It was also part of the recommendations that by 2063 Africans should dress in local attires to AU meetings.

If you calculate the amount of money spent on importation of suit and English wears, you will be amazed at what we lose by patronizing European gears.

We also urged our women to resort to African hairdo which is naturally more beautiful than wigs and attachment that are trending among women. “We know that most African women appear more beautifully adorned when they plait their hairs. So, the use of traditional African make-ups was encouraged”.

Another crucial issue that resonated at the congress was the use of cultural or traditional approach to conflict resolution in Africa. The body opined that UNESCO programmes on conflict resolutions and cultural practice in Africa were merely a policy imposed on Africans.

Hence, it was suggested that the most important thing was to research into and identify African ways of settling disputes. According to him, “Before the arrival of the white man, traditional African communities had certain dispute resolution processes, which included capital punishments without the normal court system and they were able to live together.

However, we were able to find out at the meeting that Africans had better ways of resolving conflicts through the process of mediation, reconciliation and arbitration had been original to Africans.

If we revert to the use of mediation to resolve conflicts, you will find that over a keg of palm wine, many disturbing issues would have been discussed and settled and it is final settlement.

“But if you go to court, as first instance, you go to appeal and then to the Supreme Court and even when you obtain judgment, when the person who feels defeated in the contest feels the truth was not there, that case will never end.

“In African mediation process, when we settle dispute, there is a conviviality, a tendency for both parties to develop love in the process of removing the cause of the conflict, at the end of which they become friends again and that is the essence of mediation and reconciliation”.

On the proliferation of arms in Africa, the congress condemned political conflicts in the continent, urging leaders to relinquish power when the ovation was loudest.

They also used the opportunity to commend Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat and saving the country from unnecessary bloodshed.

“I told them again that African politicians have turned agents of advertisement for arms manufactured in former colonizing countries – Western Europe and North America. African political leaders tend to advertise these arms by causing one confusion or the other and linking up with them to kill our brothers and sisters.

The issue of do-or-die election must stop and African leaders in power should be able to step down after one or two tenures and allow others to come in. “We congratulated Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan for bowing out in good time, otherwise, they would have been bombing all of us and those arms would have been deployed to the country”.

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