[QODLink]
Africa

Gambia to drop English as 'colonial relic'

President Jammeh says that his country will no longer use foreign language, but does not state preferred alternative.

Last updated: 13 Mar 2014 20:10
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
President Jammeh did not say which language the tiny West African country will use in place of English [AFP]

Gambia will drop English as an official language soon because it is a colonial relic, President Yahya Jammeh has said, without indicating which language the tiny West African country would use in its place.

"We no longer believe that for you to be a government you should speak a foreign language. We are going to speak our own language," Jammeh said in an address in English last week that was broadcast on Tuesday. 

Gambia's 1.9 million people speak several African languages including Mandingo, Fula and Wolof, the most widely spoken language of Senegal, its only direct neighbour.

The country gained independence from Britain in 1965.

English is the main language of education, but Jammed said that was no reason to keep it.

"The British did not care about education, that means they were not practising good governance. All they did was loot and loot and loot," he said. 

Jammeh spoke during the swearing-in of Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan, a Pakistani national, as Gambia's new chief justice.

The president, who seized power in a 1994 coup, drew international criticism after he executed a number of prisoners in 2012.

In October, he accused the US and UK of fomenting coup attempts and supporting the opposition.

He did not give a precise timeframe for dropping English but said it would happen "very soon".

206

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.