Africa’s newest country South Sudan has adopted English as its official language. Why? Because its new leaders believe English will make them “different and modern”.
After decades of civil war, the widespread learning of English will present some serious challenges for a country brought up learning a form of Arabic. It represents a major change after decades of Arabisation and Islamisation by their former rulers in Khartoum, Sudan. The predominantly Christian and African south by opting for English as its official language has taken a bold decision, as most of the country’s education system is very short of resources and most people are illiterate.
Edward Mokole at the Ministry of Education: “From now on all our laws, textbooks and official documents have to be written in that language. Schools, the police, retail and the media must all operate in English.”
Category: Africa / South Sudan / Learning English
South Sudan has been celebrating its creation as a new independent East African nation. The new country celebrated in Juba, its new capital, on Saturday 9th July 2011, raising its flag before tens of thousands of its cheering citizens. The country has finally managed to break free from Sudan following a bitter 50-year struggle involving civil war.
“The eyes of the world are now on us,” said South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, who was inaugurated during a scorching midday ceremony. Kiir stressed that the people of South Sudan must advance their country together, and unite as countrymen first, casting aside allegiances to the dozens of tribes that reside there.
With the creation of the new territory, South Sudan will for the first time be linked with sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda and Kenya are already laying strong economic ties with their northern neighbour, an oil rich country that may one day ship its oil to a Kenyan port, instead of through the pipelines controlled by Khartoum, capital of Sudan.
Category: Economic / Geography / South Sudan