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French could in the near future become an official language of the East African Community in addition to English.

This became apparent after the French government agreed to assist the EAC in conducting a study on the modalities to include French as an official language of the Community.

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The support from the French Government comes after the EAC requested the French Government to support a study on the modalities to include French as a language of the Community in addition to English. The request from the EAC Secretariat came as part of implementing the directive of the Resolution no. 25 of the 15th Summit of Heads of State of the EAC held on November 30th, 2013.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EAC, the French Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E Frederic Clavier, said his country was more than willing to assist the EAC in conducting a study on the modalities to include French as one of the official languages of the EAC.

“We are dedicated to support the execution of the study in order to contribute to social and economic development of the integration agenda,” said Clavier.

The French envoy said the operational implementation of the study and related funding costs estimated to be Euros 42,511, would be covered by the Embassy of France in Burundi, adding that the embassy would regularly update the EAC on the progress of the study.

On his part, EAC Secretary General, Liberat Mfumukeko expressed his appreciation to the French government for the support given to the EAC for the study.

The Secretary-General thanked France for her continued support to EAC programmes and projects.

“This support comes at the right time when the Community is continued to deepen its ties with the other French speaking blocs,” said Mfumukeko.

Article 137 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC provides that English shall be the official language of the Community while Kiswahili will be developed as a lingua franca of the Community.

The East African Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to adopt Kiswahili as an official language of the Community.