About the Speaker –
Professor of African Studies (Chair of Linguistics and Literatures),
University of Vienna, African Studies Department.
Honorary Director, International Collaborative Research Center For Language and Culture (ICRCLC), School of Liberal Arts, Xi’an University, Xi’an, China
President, Federation Internationale de Langues et Litteratures Modernes (FILLM)
Africa must Consciously Promote the Study of its Languages – Prof. Adams Bodomo, FGA
Prof. Adams Bodomo, a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and lecturer at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, Austria has proposed that Africa needs a Cultural Institute to promote African Languages. He was speaking at the 2022 Inaugural Lecture hosted by the Academy on Thursday, February 10, 2022, under the topic “Linguistic Pan-Africanism as a global Future”.
The lecture which started with a powerful display of African Music and dance interrogated some notions with the view of addressing questions such as how Africa can place itself linguistically to compete economically and culturally and the strategies for evolving and implementing effective Pan -Africanist language policies to ensure that Africa has a bright global future. Speaking on the topic, Prof. Bodomo suggested an institute be established and named after African Icons and should be mandated to teach African Language and culture with a curriculum designed by an African body.
He said, “Without Linguistic Pan-Africanism, it will be difficult to achieve Political, Economic and Cultural Pan-Africanism”. He added that Language is not just a system of coding and decoding signs but also an important identity maker.
In his presentation, Prof. Bodomo stressed the fact that Africa is not just a mineral-rich continent but also a language resource-rich continent. He added that not only are there so many languages on the African continent, but Africans also exhibit a very multilingual repertoire with many individual Africans in urban centres speaking an average of four to five languages.
He urged all diaspora Africans to learn to speak, write and communicate in Swahili or Afrihili as it has the potential of being Africa’s most widespread language.
Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti, the Vice President of the Academy in-charge of the Arts Section was the chairman of the occasion. Giving his closing remarks, Prof. Opoku Nti expressed his like for Prof. Bodomo’s idea of linguistic human rights which is, everybody should have the right to study and master their mother tongue. He supported Prof. Bodomo’s suggestion that, in trying to create Afrihili, we should not ignore the mother tongue.
Present at the lecture were students from the Accra College of Education, Achimota SHS, Accra Wesley Girls, Accra Technical Training College and was supported by the University of Education, Winneba.