Representatives attending the 39th Summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Saturday agreed to adopt Kiswahili as a formal language in the region.
Kiswahili will be the first indigenous language adopted by the bloc as an official language at the inter-state level.
According to Chairperson of the SADC council, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, the adoption will begin with Kiswahili being used at the Council and Summit level for oral communication. Eventually, it will be adopted for written official communication within SADC.
Kiswahili is an official language of the African Union and used predominantly across East Africa and parts of Central Africa. Adoption into the SADC bloc comprising of 16 countries will bring in a unified economy and make possible cross border trade across the region.