Why Study Kiswahili

  • Over 100 million people in East, Central and Southern Africa speak Kiswahili. It is a Bantu language with a rich African cultural heritage and is widely spoken in Kenya, Uganda, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Comoros Islands, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Northern Zambia among others. Kiswahili is the official language in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, and is a working language of the African Union
  • Kiswahili holds strategic importance for social, political, and economic engagement across Africa. With increased globalization, efforts of learning Kiswahili language and culture opens an extensive new horizon to Africa’s rich, fascinating and unique cultures
  • Studying Kiswahili prepares students for career opportunities in academia, federal and foreign service, health care, language instruction, journalism, business, political science, contractual and corporate law, cultural exchange in addition to increasing job vacancies in non-governmental organizations
  • Basic knowledge of Kiswahili will also prepare you for research interests in development, archeology, anthropology, geography, religion, public health, conflict resolution, human rights, environmental science, conservation, climate change, technology, art history among other fields. The language acts a passport to Kiswahili speaking countries that are allied to the United States

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Department of African & African-American Studies