In the quest to foster a relationship with the African continent, the Russian government has given approval to the teaching of three major African languages at Lomonosov Moscow State University
The languages will help forge closer ties with the continent.
These are Swahili, Amharic and Yoruba
Starting this year, the Russian government will begin teaching three major African languages in a few Moscow schools as part of efforts to strengthen links with the continent.
This is coming in light of the growing international isolation Russia is experiencing as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
According to Alexei Maslow, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, the languages will be taught in four yet-to-be-disclosed schools starting in September 2023. The languages include Swahili, which is widely spoken in Eastern Africa, Amharic, and Yoruba, which are spoken in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
The Russian news source Sputnik reported last week that the African languages will be taught as a part of a special program of the IAAS-MSU and is intended to assist create deeper links with the continent.
The announcement was made at a Sputnik international roundtable on Russia-Africa relations that was attended by academics from universities in the two countries and focused on “prospects for economic cooperation. If implemented, the decision will make Russia the first nation in Europe to offer African language instruction in public schools.
One of the most widely used languages in Africa, Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is spoken largely in the East African nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The language is spoken by more than 200 million people. It is the official tongue of Kenya and Tanzania, and the African Union has adopted it as their common language.
Yoruba, on the other hand, is primarily spoken in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo in West Africa, where over 50 million people do. Over 50 million people speak Amharic in the nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.