The advancement of cultural diversity and heritage

With over 2000 languages, Africa has one of the highest densities of linguistic diversity in the world, yet roughly half of these languages have never been researched and have no written form. Consequently, they are politically marginalised and many are endangered.

This intangible heritage should be preserved because a person’s language is the primary expression of his or her cultural identity. All too often, the official language – be it English, French or Portuguese – is associated with power, prestige and sophistication, whilst the African mother tongue is associated with rural environments and lack of development. Enhancing the status of these neglected languages by developing orthographies for them increases the self-esteem of those who speak them. Africans who are proud of their own oral and written languages will be able face the advancing tide of globalisation with confidence, firmly rooted in their own sense of cultural identity.