[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list