Russia university introduces Yoruba language, others to forge closer ties with Africa | In a bid to strengthen links with the continent and curb international isolation, Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia will start teaching Swahili, Amharic, and Yoruba.
Lomonosov Moscow State University: Bridging Cultures through Language
MSU in Russia now teaches Swahili, Amharic, and Yoruba.
This bold step aims to bridge the gap between continents and curb the growing international isolation Russia is experiencing.
A Bold Initiative
In a world that seems to be growing increasingly distant, initiatives like these can spark significant change.
By incorporating these African languages into their curriculum, Russia aims to strengthen its links with Africa.
ccording to Alexei Maslov, director of MSU’s Institute of Asian and African Studies, these languages will be taught in four Moscow schools from September 2023.
Languages and Their Importance
Language is vital to culture, serving as a powerful tool for communication, belonging, and understanding.
Teaching these languages is not only about communication, but also about embracing diversity and understanding the rich African cultures.
Swahili: A Pan-African Language
Swahili (Kiswahili) is spoken by over 200 million people in East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The African Union recognizes it as their common language, underlining its importance on the continent.
Yoruba: The Language of West Africa
Spoken by more than 50 million people in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, Yoruba is another crucial language to understand the African continent.
It offers a gateway to the vibrant cultures and traditions of these West African nations.
Amharic: The Linguistic Jewel of the Horn of Africa
Amharic is spoken by over 50 million people in Ethiopia and Eritrea, providing insights into the history and lifestyle of the Horn of Africa.
A Shift towards Africa
This move by Russia underscores a paradigm shift in the nation’s approach towards Africa.
An abrupt turn to Africa requires a new breed of specialists equipped to navigate the diverse African landscape.
Africa is a diverse patchwork of nations, ethnicities, religions, and languages, as emphasized by Maslov.
Interest in Russian Education
According to Racus, a Study in Russia organization, over 100,000 African students have shown interest in studying in Russia, with around 30,000 currently enrolled in Russian universities.
Russia pulls in around $110m yearly from the tuition of 22,000 African students.
Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted that cooperation between Russia and Africa in the field of education is traditionally high, with 5,000 of the 27,000 African students studying in Russia being supported by government scholarships.
By introducing African languages into its curriculum, Russia is taking a significant step towards embracing multiculturalism and forging stronger ties with the African continent.
It’s an acknowledgment of the need for global citizens to understand and respect diverse cultures.
The impact of this move on Russia’s relationship with Africa and its international standing remains to be seen.
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What are the three African languages being introduced in Russian schools?
Swahili, Amharic, and Yoruba are being introduced at Lomonosov Moscow State University and a few other Moscow schools.
Why is Russia introducing these African languages into their curriculum?
By doing so, Russia aims to forge closer ties with Africa and curb its growing international isolation.
How many African students are currently studying in Russia?
According to the Study in Russia organization Racus