African Union sets up commission for Tamazight language

A commission for Tamazight has been officially installed at the African Union, as a preliminary stage in the process of setting up cross-frontier councils for the language, also known as Berber.

The Haut Commissariat à l’Amazighité (HCA), an Algerian government body overseeing the Berber area, announced the commission had been established under the authority of the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), reported the Algérie Presse Service (APS).

ACALAN is a pan-African organisation under the aegis of the African Union, aimed in part at harmonising the many languages spoken on the continent.

The HCA statement was made following a meeting at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to plan for the cross-border lingua franca Tamazight – which is spoken in countries of the Maghreb and Sahel – as well as Amharic and Arabic.

The HCA secretary general, El-Hachemi Assad, led a delegation of Algerian academics specialising in the Amazigh language and culture. Their proposals were approved unanimously at the ACALAN meeting as they were found to fit the criteria followed by the other 19 organisations working in coordination with national language commissions throughout Africa.

The 10-member Tamazight commission elected Professor Youssef Nacib as the Algerian coordinator, and Dr Abdesslam Boumisser as representative of Morocco, reported APS.

The participants also proposed that the headquarters of the Tamazight commission would be located at the University of Adrar in south-west Algeria, which is situated close to both the Maghreb and the Sahel – “two major African sub-regions” where the language is spoken, reported APS. – Compiled by Jane Marshall

This article is drawn from local media.
University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.