Language and Broad-Based Socio-Economic Development in Africa: Authenticity and Scale.

  • Damazio Mfune-Mwanjakwa Department of English, University of Malawi, Chancellor College P.O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi.
Keywords: broad-based development, first languages, authenticity, languages of scale


The place of one’s first language in contributing towards authentic scholarship cannot be over-emphasised as attested to by countless studies in this area[1]. Africa has numerous first languages and while this diversity is colourful and must be celebrated and preserved, on its own it is not really working for Africans. In “communication-for-development” circles scale matters – a language is as useful, important and effective as a tool for development as the number of people who use it.  The question that arises is: how can we scale up these indigenous languages so that they work for broad-based development on the continent?