Research on most languages in Eastern Africa has been minimal, yet these languages are key in understanding Africa and possibly addressing some of the complex issues facing not only the Eastern region but also the whole continent. Sadly, some of these languages face extinction because they are only spoken by a generation that is already advanced in age. According to Amadou Hampâté Bâ (1901-1991), a Malian, ‘In Africa, when an old man dies, a library burns down.” (en.unesco.org/courier/2018-2/missive-youth). However, this problem cannot be left to linguists and language researchers alone. It requires concerted effort with researchers in all fields interested in language, in a multi pronged approach of collaboration and interdisciplinarity. The purpose of this conference is therefore to contribute in addressing the current problem by building research capacity in Eastern Africa through strengthening collaborative and interdisciplinary research on languages in Eastern Africa among linguists, graduate students, language activists, language educators and persons from all disciplines interested in the importance of language. This will be done through presentations on existing and proposed collaborative and interdisciplinary researches in different parts of the world. The conference provides an opportunity to participants to develop and enhance their skills in language and collaborative/interdisciplinary research. This conference will hopefully encourage more collaborative and interdisciplinary research not only in the region but also across the continent and the world.
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