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Tanzania to offer Swahili proficiency tests

Tanzania has announced plans to launch an international language test for Swahili, hoping to build on the growing popularity of the language.

Swahili is the main language in East Africa
Swahili is the main language in East Africa. Photo: Getty Images

Leonard Akwilapo, the country’s permanent secretary for education, said the test would be offered by the University of Dar es Salaam’s Institute of Swahili Studies.

The test is modeled around international proficiency tests for languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic and will be offered from January.

With Swahili recently adopted as the fourth official language of the Southern African Development Community, its proficiency should, therefore, be “authenticated”, Dr Akwilapo was quoted by the government-owned Daily News.

The institute would be conducting six examinations annually in examination centres worldwide, targeting candidates seeking to use Swahili as their second or foreign language.

Swahili is widely spoken across East Africa and parts of central Africa.

Last year, South Africa announced it would be taught in schools as an optional subject by 2020.

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