Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132


Situating African languages in the global village for sustainable development: Attractions and challenges for Zimbabwe

Miidzo Mavesera
Midlands State University Private Bag 9055, Gweru, Zimbabwe. 
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 October 2010
  •  Published: 30 May 2011



While dissenting voices view ex-colonial languages as contributing to marginalisation,(Bentahila, 1988:338) argues that, in contrast to Arabic, French is consistently associatedwith modernity, education and sophistication as well as social advancement. Thispresents a dilemma in that although African governments are advocating for use of Africanlanguages, they have an inherent phobia of isolation from the global village. Meanwhileglobalisation has not only reinforced the hegemony of ex-colonial languages but practicallyexacerbates the marginalisation of African languages, thereby presenting an amazingparadox of development. This article interrogates the relationship between Africanlanguages and sustainable development with a special focus on Zimbabwe. The contribution adopts a holistic approach whereby a proposition to integrate languageplanning and policy with socio-economic and political considerations is advanced. Thepaper argues that destabilisation of one sector consequently brings disequilibrium inanother which facilitates discussion of language planning attractions and challenges forZimbabwe.


Key words: African languages, linguistic inclusion, globalisation, sustainable development,education for sustainable development.