n Latin American Report - Enhancing access and success for sustainable economic development : 'rewiring' farmers through African languages

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



Since gaining independence, African governments have struggled to establish themselves as successful economic power houses While a number of theories have been proffered to explain this phenomenon, this article argues that it results from African governments paying cursory attention to language planning and the effect of ex-colonial languages on socio-economic development Globalisation has not only reinforced the hegemony of ex-colonial languages but has exacerbated the marginalisation of African languages, thereby presenting a paradox of development for African states. Globalisation exposes African languages on the international language market as subjects of study; media of educational instruction; and communication tools in a modern 'technologised' society. The article interrogates the relationship between globalisation and the use of indigenous languages for economic emancipation with examples from Zimbabwe. The discussion adopts a holistic or a systems approach whereby it argues that language empowerment creates an environment conducive to socio-economic emancipation. It postulates that the use of mother tongue languages in crucial areas, such as educational instruction, opens doors for success and facilitates corporate social investment (CSI) which is an empowering tool for economic prosperity and posterity. The Miidzo Mavesera (MM) Dandaro Model is used to illustrate how language can motivate and empower people to contribute meaningfully to local and global development.

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