The current politics of African languages in Zimbabwe

Maxwell Kadenge, Victor Mugari


The Zimbabwean sociolinguistic situation has for long been dogged by the lack of a holistic and well-articulated language policy. This situation is not peculiar to Zimbabwe, but common throughout Africa. This article examines the implications and complications of the new constitutionally enshrined national language policy in Zimbabwe. To a larger extent, the new policy is a result of protracted activism by minority ethno-linguistic communities in Zimbabwe. However, the shift from recognising three official languages to sixteen would be an end itself if stakeholders do not proactively engage with the policy and develop effective strategies for successful implementation. Adequate financial resources, political will and stakeholder buy-in are needed for the successful implementation of this policy. This article maps the way forward for Zimbabwe’s language policy and planning efforts. 

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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