This book is an analysis of modernisation informed by the place of language in education, health, the economy and governance in the African context. It paints a wide canvas of Africa in its different facets, and shows how language is used as an instrument to deny access to socioeconomic and political emancipation.
The manuscript will make an important contribution to African sociolinguistics and will have an impact beyond African scholarship. It will expand and deepen the work in African sociolinguistics because of the range of topics which include, but are not limited, to economics, health, education and development. -- Professor Sinfree Makoni, Linguistics and Appied Language Studies and African and African-American Studies, Pennsylvania State University. This is a powerful piece of work that draws together a lot of disparate information, much not readily accessible to an English speaking public, about African languages, their use and the impact of that on the (non)development occurring in Africa, thereby highlighting the role that African languages might play in reversing that situation. Richard B. Baldauf Jr., University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Paulin Djite brings together different sets of data - economic, political,- to provide a convincing perpective on language problems in Africa. Linguistic diversity is not a handicap by itself : monolingualism is not going to solve all development problems as naive apologists of global English would like us to believe. Multiculturalism without multilingualism is mere posturing! This book provides some tools to understand this truth. Alain Ricard, directeur de recherche au cnrs, Paris Scholarly, engaging, and accessible, Paulin Djite's book challenges two of the lingering myths about the role of language in Africa's development - multilingualism is an obstacle to development and the latter is possible only via the medium of an ex-colonial language - and calls for the use of the African languages in the key areas of development: education, health, the economy and governance. Language policy makers, language professionals, and anyone who is interested in the language question in Africa will find in this important book an insightful and most timely contribution to knowledge about language and development in the continent. Professor Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu, Howard University What an excellent book. I enjoyed every moment I devoted to reading it. The book is going to become compulsory reading for anyone wishing to work on sociolinguistics and applied linguistics in Africa. It has numerous qualities that will make it inescapable as a vade-mecum in these fields. It describes concisely the state of the art with respect to the relationship between language policy, language use and economics, health, education, and governance, the domains that it covers in the main. At the same time, it challenges all the myths and many orthodox assumptions and authoritative positions in these domains. As such, it will undoubtedly give rise to very necessary polemics inside and beyond the continent. In view of the global trend towards the valorisation of cultural diversity, the positions that are put forward here, such as the relationship between multilingualism and economic development, will undoubtedly help to shape the orthodoxy of the future. Coming as it does at the very moment when a Pan-African Masters and Doctoral degree programme in Applied Linguistics and African Languages is about to be launched, its seeds will fall on fertile ground. Neville Alexander, University of Cape Town, South Africa
AcknowledgementsForewordIntroductionChapter 1: Prolegomena to the sociolinguistics of development in AfricaChapter 2: Language, education and developmentChapter 3: Language, health and developmentChapter 4: Language, the economy and developmentChapter 5: Language, governance and developmentConclusionEndnotesBibliography