Languages of the African Union

Languages of the African Union

The languages of the African Union are languages used by citizens within the member states of the African Union (AU). For languages of the institution, see African Union: Languages.


The African Union has defined a number of languages as working languages including Arabic, English, French and Portuguese as well as African languages if possible.[1] The prominence of Arabic in many African countries is due to the Arab expansion into Africa from the 7th century, with subsequent Arabization of local populations. Indo-European languages were introduced during the European colonisation from the 15th century.

In 2001, the AU created the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) to harmonize the various languages across the continent and safeguard any that are on the verge of becoming extinct. To that end, the AU declared 2006 the Year of African Languages.[2][3]

Languages of AU states

See also


  1. ^ "Constitutive Act of the African Union" (PDF). African Union. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ethiopia: AU Launches 2006 As Year of African Languages". 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
  3. ^ Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (2006). "The Year of African Languages (2006) - Plan for the year of African Languages - Executive Summary". Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 

External links

  • African Academy of Languages
  • All African languages by countries