Denigrating the local, glorifying the foreign: Malawian language policies in the era of African Renaissance
PublisherTaylor & Francis, http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
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Malawi's Vision 2020 document, a national document that serves as a vehicle to project a future for a more developed, secure and democratically mature nation, laments the tendency of Malawians to denigrade local products and glorify all things foreign. Yet, paradoxically, the document does not address the important issue of promoting Malawi's indegenous languages. This silence can be interpreted as reflective of the population's inclination to ascribe greater value to forign culture. In Malawi, as in many other African countries, indigenous languages are not considered worthy as media of education, subjects of advanced study or critical vehicles for national development. They are still victim to a discrimination rooted in Africa's 500 plus years of European enslavement and colonialisation. Against the backdrop of the pursuit of an African Renaissance, this article looks at Malawi's language policies since independence in 1964, and at how, ten years short of an idyllic national vision, Malawi measures up on the important issue of language.