The historical largest city in Indian Ocean Isles and historical center of business in East African is Zanzibar, known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, has an atmosphere that is more Oceanic, it is ambience and cultural heritage.
Zanzibar has been named as the Capital of Kiswahili language in East African Community.
Zanzibar City are a proud sort. Blessed with the open sea as their back drop alive with a traditionally polyglot and cosmopolitan community.
Zanzibar City has always lived in the long shadow of its former glory as an ancient cultural and intellectual epicenter, and later, as a hedonistic expatriate playground.
Today, the city is most often evoked as a holiday spot for Zanzibari residents seeking relief from the brutal summer heat, and in relation to ongoing discoveries associated with its rich historical about 30,000 BC.
It’s status as a beacon of culture symbolized by UNESCO, the legendary stone-house that was one of the Wonders of the World.
Located at the world’s crossroads, the coastal city has always played a crucial role in global trade. Its intellectual standing has also mirrored its economic wealth.
The East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) is an institution of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for the coordination and promotion of the development and use of Kiswahili in the region and beyond make Zanzibar as it capital of Kiswahili Coordination.
The source of Swahili words, most Arabic loanwords in Swahili. In the text “Early Swahili History Reconsidered”, however, Thomas Spear noted that Swahili retains a large amount of grammar, vocabulary, and sounds inherited from the Sabaki language. In fact, while taking account of daily vocabulary, using lists of one hundred words, 72–91% were inherited from the Sabaki language (which is reported as a parent language) whereas 4–17% were loan words from other African languages. Only 2–8% were from non-African languages, and Arabic loan words constituted a fraction of that.
According to other sources, around 35% of the Swahili vocabulary comes from Arabic. What also remained unconsidered was that a good number of the borrowed terms had native equivalents.
The preferred use of Arabic loan words is prevalent along the coast, where natives, in a cultural show of proximity to, or descent from Arab culture, would rather use loan words, whereas the natives in the interior tend to use the native equivalents. It was originally written in Arabic script.
The earliest known documents written in Swahili are letters written in Kilwa, Tanzania, in 1711 in the Arabic script that were sent to the Portuguese of Mozambique and their local allies. The original letters are preserved in the Historical Archives of Goa, India.
Swahili has become a second language spoken by tens of millions in three African Great Lakes countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), where it is an official or national language, while being the first language for many people in Tanzania especially in the coastal regions of Tanga, Pwani, Dar es Salaam, Mtwara and Lindi.
In the inner regions of Tanzania, Swahili is spoken with an accent influenced by local languages and dialects, and as a first language for most people born in the cities, whilst being spoken as a second language in rural areas.
Africa Union adopts Swahili as official working language
The Africa Union, which is made up of 55-member states, has officially adopted Swahili as an official working language.
The approval comes following a request by Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango, who argued that over 100 million people in Africa speak Swahili, thus becoming one of the most widely spoken languages in the African continent.
“Kiswahili (another name for Swahili) is already in use in various communities including the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as a teaching language in many African countries,” Mpango said, adding it is a language commonly spoken in the EAC.
The announcement was made in the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
For a long time, African leaders have tried to push for the AU to adopt Swahili as the Pan African language.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared July 7 as the World Kiswahili Language Day.
According to the UN, the language had its origins in East Africa, and Swahili speakers are spread over more than 14 countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Comoros, and as far as Oman and Yemen in the Middle East.
Southern African countries such as South Africa and Botswana have introduced it in schools, while Namibia and others are considering doing so.