Empowering Communities through Language Research and African Linguistics for Sustainable Development
In their search for solutions to the development problems of Africa in general and the Eastern Africa region in particular, stakeholders such as politicians and researchers have often ignored or downplayed the question of languages, linguistics, and other sociocultural resources (see Prah 1993 & 2012). This problem is further compounded by the sheer multiplicity and complexity of languages and cultures in Africa which is often seen as a hindrance to the development of the continent. However, over the past few decades, it has become clear that empowering communities through culture, language, and linguistics research is crucial to sustainable development. Moreso in the current context where researchers in the region either seem disinterested or have inadequate capacity. In this regard, the following questions emerge: What are the relevant contextual language, cultural and linguistic realities of contemporary Africa? How do they affect the issues associated with Sustainable Development? How do the dominant assumptions in theoretical and applied linguistics relate to the challenges that face Africa in general and the Eastern Africa region in particular today? What should be done to build capacity among researchers to enhance research output? This conference, therefore, brings together language researchers, educationalists, linguists, experts in cultural studies, and communicators as key stakeholders to deliberate language and linguistic-related matters that affect the development of the African continent. This will be done through presentations of study findings, current language debates, collaborative research, linguistic projects, and graduate students’ work from all over the world. It is envisaged that this conference will promote knowledge creation and sharing, collaborative and interdisciplinary research in the Eastern Africa Region, and beyond.