Twitter recognises Kiswahili as official language


JOHANNESBURG, May 4 – Social media platform Twitter has indexed Kiswahili, the largest native African language with over 100 million speakers, as an official language, following a campaign by eNitiate, a Pan-African digital agency, to challenge the unfair treatment of African languages on social media.

Many of the most widely spoken languages from the continent are not included in language lists of popular social networks and are thus mis-indexed.

Kiswahili is now the first African language to be indexed by Twitter thanks to eNitiate’s social media campaign #AfricanLanguagesDay which kicked off in February to not only challenge this discrimination on social media but to also encourage Africans to proudly speak their own languages on social media which is used by an estimated 300 million Africans.

“While translations of Kiswahili are not 100 percent, Twitter has taken the first step by indexing Kiswahili,” said eNitiate founder Bra Willy.

#AfricanLanguagesDay is a build-up to Africa Day which will take place on May 25 and will highlight African native languages.

– African News Agency (ANA)