Kwesi Kwaa Prah has 15 books on Goodreads with 31 ratings. Kwesi Kwaa Prah’s most popular book is Sites of Struggle: Essays in Zimbabwe’s Urban History. Kwesi Kwaa Prah. Africa in Transformation. Political and Economic Transformation and Socio-Political Responses in Africa Vol.1 edited by Kwesi Kwaa Prah. CAPITEIN: A Critical Study of an 18th Century African, by Kwesi Kwaa Prah. $ Add To Cart · CAPITEIN: A Critical Study of an 18th Century African.

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By forming standardised groupings of mutually intelligible African dialects, Prah hopes to overcome not only the local linguistic barriers created by the diversity of African dialects, but also to finally break down the far more divisive borders that are maintained by the pervasive grip of post-colonial languages ksesi the Continent.

This interview with him will be one of those included in the eLearning Africa Reportour wide-ranging investigation of ICT developments on the Continent, due to be launched at the upcoming eLearning Africa Conference.

Speaking about his work with language and education from Cape Wkaa, Prah asserts that questions of relevance when speaking about the local languages of Africa are themselves irrelevant. Could you ever ask someone from one of these countries whether the language they speak is important? In the same token, African languages should be allowed to flourish. Despite both national and kwwsi focus on literacy and education in Africa, in part driven by the soon-to-expire Millennium Development Goals, the resulting programmes and policies are all too often delivered in the languages of former colonial powers — particularly English, French and Portuguese — at the cost of excluding the majority and those most in need.

These languages cannot be the only languages of African development. The problem is not merely one of shaking off the remnants of the past, but of convincing those within every level of African society that undermining the status of African languages serves the interests of no one.

The cultural power of the African elite is based on the fact that they are proficient users of post-colonial languages. They instil a new colonial order which excludes the majority from the structures of power.

Kkwesi, he suggests that even those in positions of power are allowing themselves to be limited by the same colonial hierarchies of the past. Therefore, they are actually positioning themselves as inferiors.

This can lead to a bottle-neck of tension that can explode. As an inspirational example for African countries to follow, Prah points to Vietnam and their Southeast Asian neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. They stopped using the language of their French colonisers: Language, education, and, with the ongoing growth in ICT-supported learning, technology, are co-agents of change with huge potential.

We talk about development through education and training, but in whose language? It makes economic sense to develop products for this market, by this market. However, he confidently points to the historical precedent that proves that the democratisation of language is a necessary precursor for the democratisation of society.

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It is only the common languages — the languages of the street — that can lead to democratic progress. You cannot lift Africa without African languages. In recent years, the focus of CASAS on African languages has led to the production of various publications, including dictionaries and research papers focusing on diverse African languages. Alongside the most up-to-date statistics analysing the impact of ICTs and eLearning in Africa, the eLearning Africa Report recounts the experiences, heartfelt beliefs and aspirations of those surveyed, and contains eleven full-length interviews with prominent eLearning expertsof which this is just one.

Raw data, while important, can only give limited insight; these interviews are intended to add a greater depth and range to the Report, and reflect the many complex faces of ICT in Africa today.

Many of these interviewees, Professor Prah amongst them, will be present at the eLearning Africa Conference for the launch of the Report — after which it will be made available on our website for free. In my mind it is not a problem of more than 2. It is just the problem of beginning the work on this subject.

Together with students and some enthusiasts in Germany we began in to establish Online-dictionaries for African languages under the name xLingua. Now we have four African languages: Igbo, Swahili, Yoruba and Wolof. And we have a lot of users.

The people are interested in such services.

Kwesi Kwaa Prah

Another problem is the lack of standardization. Most African languages have not really an authority which defines the language well. There is a lot to do for linguists in African universities. Most of the African people speak their natural language well. But only some of them are really able to write it in a good manner. As long as this problem exists, there will be not found enough authors for Wikipedia-articles.

I agree with you Alicia, but only in part. It is true that the European Union has put in place a vast infrastructure for translation between these languages: One of the processes involved in founding the nation states of Kwa was the standardisation of language and the oppression and extinctification of minority languages. It happened in France, in Russia, and in Great Britain — which used to have upwards of six spoken languages. Africa has managed to hold on to many of its linguistic treasures, despite the imposition of English and French.

eLearning Africa News Portal – “No country can make progress on the basis of a borrowed language”

But we must not consider the colonial languages prxh a yoke. Perhaps they are the gift Africa needs to preserve its minority languages — some spoken by mere hundreds ,waa for the future.

Used as a utilitarian lingua franca for trans-continental communication, English and French, as umbrella languages, not loved but practically used, could preserve this linguistic diversity beneath them — by keeping all African languages as precious kwsa. Wikipedia has 37, articles in languages.

This massive accumulation of knowledge happened in a relatively short period of time because of the contributions of many people: At Translators without Borders www. But if the small contributions from large numbers of people can build Wikipedia, then the combined might of Africans can take down every language barrier.


Best practices and technological support can create a veritable army of local language translators. There are dialects that have been elevated to languages by a very corrosive missionary past. Do go and read his papers. Kinyarwanda and Kirundi are not different languages just as Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele are not different languages. They are mutually intelligible dialects of core languages that can easily by harmonized to a standard written form which thankfully with his work has already been done.

This rpah true across the continent. What we have to remember is, the importance of trans-African conversations.

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The colonial languages may well be a curse as far as education is concerned; kwezi when you wish to exchange ideas with someone far away across the continent, they are extremely helpful. Thanks for the opportunity to comment from my sick bed! Prof Prah is partially right but belated due to technology.

Sara is also right, too many dialects called languages. Now which way forward? It is arrogant of Western companies to enter Africa and ignore the history and culture associated with the many African languages. Professor Prah makes some interesting points: This is a very unfortunate and persistent myth that Africa is home to a great number of languages. Missionaries have created languages out kwza dialects. Just imagine Chinese missionaries translating the varieties of english spoken in the world down on paper.

Kwesi Prah

You would get tremendous difference when transliterating spoken english. The same has happened all over Africa. For example Rwanda and Burundi. Your email address will not be published. Conference Home About us Newsletter. Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah was interviewed by Alicia Mitchell Speaking about his work with language and education from Cape Town, Prah asserts that questions of relevance when speaking about the local languages of Africa are themselves irrelevant.

May 27, at I totally agree with the ideas of Prof. I jwaa further kaesi at the eLearning in Windhoek! May 24, at 4: May 24, at 1: May 23, at 1: November 11, at 4: May 23, at May 23, at 9: May 21, at 7: May 19, at kweai Leave a comment Cancel Your email address will not be published. Like us on Facebook. This website uses cookies to improve user experience. We ask that you read the Privacy and Cookies policy carefully before using the Websites.

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