Events

In support of the Africa Black History month, you are kindly invited to the following educational lecture:

The multilingual landscape of Africa and the dynamics of
African languages in the 21st Century

This theme will highlight a key area which is overlooked and clearly under-discussed yet crucial to understanding of
Africa today, more importantly to diasporic Africans in the UK and Europe.

Special guest High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Vinod Tailor

Date: Monday 30th October 2017
Time: 10.30 am – 1.30 pm
Venue: HSAC Theatre, Hightown Sports & Arts Centre,
Concorder Street, Luton LU2 0JD. Phone 01582 419548

The lecture is charged at £10.00 per person
A certificate of attendance can be supplied upon request

Summary
Due to the multiplicity of languages in Africa, and the complex levels of linguistic competencies exhibited by Africans, most of whom are multilingual, Africa is considered by many as a linguistic paradise. Africa is the world’s second-largest continent and second most populous continent (after Asia). It has a population estimated in 2017 of 1.4 billion – approximately 1/7 of the world human population, and a land area of 30,244,050 square kilometres (11,677,240 square miles) – 20.3% of the total land area on Earth.

In the 54 countries that make up Africa, and estimated 2,100 languages are spoken, representing approximately 30.3% of the
world languages. Some African languages, such as Arabic, Berber, Hausa and Oromo have tens of millions of native speakers;
but some smaller languages have only tens or hundreds of speakers, many of these smaller languages are on the brink of
extinction. Some African countries have hundreds of languages – Nigeria has 450 languages, Cameroon has 286 languages, but many countries on average have some tens of languages.

Some of the issues covered by the lecture:

  •  What are the various linguistic affiliations of African languages?
  •  What is the current picture of the multilingual landscape of Africa?
  •  What is the colonial linguistic heritage on the continent?
  •  What are the current dynamics of African languages in the 21 Century?

Speaker: Dr. Seraphin Kamdem, SOAS, University of London

Dr. Seraphin Kamdem studied at the University of Yaounde, Cameroon; University of East Anglia,
Norwich, England; University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, USA; and the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. He holds a Ph.D. from SOAS. His doctoral thesis focussed on
African languages and education, investigating multilingual adult literacy in the rural areas of Cameroon in
Africa.
Dr. Kamdem is currently Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Africa at
SOAS, University of London.