The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party has unveiled an ambitious initiative to impart Kiswahili language skills to its members nationwide, in a bid to align with the broader East African integration agenda where Kiswahili has gained prominence as a regional common language.
Honourable James Magode Ikuya, the State Minister for East African Community Affairs, delivered an inspiring message on behalf of Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. He emphasised the profound significance of this language program in her stead.
"Learning Kiswahili isn't merely a pastime; it is an integral part of embracing African languages, culture, and customs. This endeavour is essential as we embark on the African liberation process, reconnecting Africans with their heritage," Minister Ikuya stated. "No other language can teach you how to be truly African. Our journey begins by speaking African languages. It is a path to deepen our struggle for the liberation of Africa and to restore the dignity of African people. Let us hold the right attitude towards all things African."
Minister Ikuya's message highlights the critical role that linguistic and cultural reconnection plays in the larger context of Africa's self-realization and resurgence. It signifies a profound shift in perspective and the rekindling of a shared African identity.
During the launch today at the NRM Secretariat, the NRM Secretary General, Rt Hon. Richard Todwong expounded on the party's commitment to supporting its members in learning Kiswahili, reinforcing the core message shared by Minister Ikuya.
"We find ourselves deeply engaged in the East African integration process, and the prospect of the East African Federation becoming a reality is within reach. To thrive in this regional landscape, our fellow Ugandans must acquire Kiswahili language skills," Todwong emphasized. "As the ruling party, we have launched a program to facilitate this learning journey for our cadres and interested members of the public."
Todwong also touched upon the broader implications of this language initiative in the context of leadership and effective communication. He stressed the importance of mastering the art of public speaking, a skill vital for all leaders to confidently engage with the public.
"Some of our leaders have faced challenges in public speaking and presentation. I have witnessed them struggle in debates against cadres from other parties, which has occasionally been embarrassing for our party. They sometimes appear on national media without adequate facts, struggle to organize their thoughts logically, and this diminishes their confidence," Todwong shared.
To ensure accessibility, the Kiswahili and Public Speaking programs will be held every Wednesday at the NRM National Secretariat, commencing on September 13t4, from 8 a.m. to midday. These programs are open to all party cadres and members of the public who will receive certificates upon completing the training.
In conclusion, the NRM's Kiswahili program serves as a beacon of hope for a united Africa, where language and culture form the foundation of a stronger, more cohesive continent. Minister Ikuya's powerful message, echoed by Secretary-General Todwong, reinforces the importance of embracing our African heritage and language as we strive for a brighter future as a united African people.