The languages of the world are estimated to be between 6000 and 7000. Yet, due to liberal global economy, emigration and improved communication networks, the linguistic repertoire of the world is increasingly dwindling. Sadly, when languages fade, the world's rich mosaic of cultural diversity is not spared. The critical role of language on identity construction, communication,
social integration, education and development cannot be over emphasized. It is this understanding that has witnessed the formulation and enactment by many nations of policies geared at promoting and safeguarding linguistic and cultural diversity. The overarching
motivation in this move is the appreciation of the fact that languages in general and indigenous  languages in particular, are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. Languages contribute to the sum of human knowledge in an immense way; inside each language is a vision of the past, present and future.
Promoting the mother language In a bid to promote the linguistic and cultural heritage of the world, the 21 st of February was
earmarked by UNESCO as the day to celebrate International Mother Language Day. In observance of this day, people are encouraged to not only keep their mother language in use but to also learn additional languages as well.
In 2019 the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) will be observed in an elaborate way in Kitui Campus, a campus of Kenyatta University. A 3-day conference will be held at the campus beginning on 20 th and ending on 22 nd . During the conference participants will make presentations on select topics revolving around the theme of “Hallowing Mother Language and Cultural.
Diversity in Africa”. The papers to be presented in the conference will be centered on such topics as:

  • Language and legislation
  • Language and Education
  • Language and Justice
  • Language and entrepreneurship
  • Language and public participation
  • Language and Gender
  • Language, identity and culture
  • Language and literature
  • Language and popular culture
  • Language and the media
  • Language and power
  • Language and ethnicity
  • Language and family
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Language and ICT

This event will bring together scholars, publishers and stakeholders in the field of language, culture and communication from both the local and international community. Key partners envisaged in these celebrations are:

  • The County Governments of Kitui,
  • The East African Educational Publishers.
  • The National Museums of Kenya
  • Unesco-Kenya
  • DAAD
  • Bible Translation and Literacy/Summer Institute of Linguistics/Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Mobile Phone Service Providers
  • Media Houses
  • MoE
  • The Teachers Service Commission
  • Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development
  • State department of culture and social services
  • Africa Humanities partnerships
  • The Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology
  • Bidco, Unilever,
  • PWC, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte
  • British Institute in Eastern Africa

Why Kitui Campus?
Kitui Campus is one of the ten campuses of Kenyatta University. It is the biggest in terms of physical size and student population after the main campus. The student population is drawn from all over the country hence the linguistic and cultural heterogeneity of the campus.The Campus is located in Kitui County at a serene environment 20 Kilometres from Kitui town off the Machakos- Kitui road at Kwa Vonza. From Nairobi, one may access the campus through the Machakos route or the Thika route. Either route, the journey would take a maximum of three hours. Geopgraphically, Kitui campus is situated on the Eastern region of the country on the
boundary between Kitui County and Machakos County. The road network from Nairobi and other parts of the country to the campus are generally impressive. The weather is relatively warm for most parts of the year.

As part of the conference, an afternoon will be set aside for excursion. Participants will be encouraged to visit the beautiful sceneries in Kitui. These include:

  • The mythical Nzambani rock
  • The Yata Plateau
  • Bird Sanctuary
  • Reptile Park
  • Ikoo Valley (with breathtaking rock profile)
  • Tsavo National Park (Half of the park is in Kitui County)
  • Kora National Park (best identified with the conservationists George and Joy Adamson).

Expected outcome
The theme of the conference is designed in such a way as to resonate well with the interests of scholars, publishers and practitioners from across disciplines. It is therefore hoped that existing partnerships will be bolstered and new ones forged. It is also expected that the need to underscore the appreciation of language and cultural diversity at both individual and societal levels will be highlighted.

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