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Edinburgh Circle on the Promotion of African Languages

What is the Circle about?

Check out our Journal: Language Policy in Africa.

The circle is primarily open to scientists who share an interest in the related areas of African languages, language policy, sociolinguistics, education and language economy. Members of the circle follow the ideas of Prah (1998), and others, who argued that African languages are key to Africa's development. The formation of the circle comes at a time (2019) when the majority of African languages are not used in formal settings but widely employed in informal interactions. Circle members believe that more use of African languages is unavoidable, but that it depends on a certain measure of harmonization and standardization. Linguists and other social scientists have an important role to play in helping to shape practical, efficient, rational, inclusive and African language-based policies on the continent.

The circle is interested in open exchanges of ideas, in foregrounding, stimulating and undertaking scientific work in this area and in active dialogue with policy makers at the national and international level. It takes pride in being inspired and led mainly by African social scientists. It is interdisciplinary in nature and aims to produce material that is accessible to policy makers and the interested lay person.

The circle has facilitated a workshop at the 10th World Congress of African Linguistics in 2021 as well as at the Bantu9 Conference in June 2022. Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, Bert van Pinxteren and Josef Schmied have edited the volume 'Language of Education and Development in Africa: Prospects for Decolonisation and Empowerment'. It contains papers from a number of Circle members (in part first presented at the Africa Knows! Conference in 2021 and at WOCAL10). A first edition was presented at the VAD 2022 Conference. An updated edition is now available for free download from the publisher's website.

The Circle has held a monthly webinar series in the better part of 2023. It was present as well at the ECAS Conference and the Lagos Studies Association Conference, both in June 2023. Ín 2024, the Circle will be present among others at the VAD Conference and the Swiss Africa Research days, both in October.

Informal Steering Committee:

Dr Sarita Monjane Henriksen, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo, Mozambique

Dr Comfort Ojongnkpot, University of Buea, Cameroon

Prof Dr Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Secretary: Dr Bert van Pinxteren, Leiden University, Netherlands (afrilang at

Other Circle members:

Abdulkadir Abdulrahim (Arjali) (Nigeria), PhD student, Çukurova University, Turkey

Prof Dr Enoch Aboh, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Narmeen Abu Dib (Libya), PhD student, University of Aberdeen, UK

Dr Femi Ademola-Adeoye, University of Lagos, Nigeria

* Dr Kehinde Adeosun, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

* Prof Dr Akinbiyi Akinlabi, Rutgers University, USA

Prof Dr Pius Akumbu, CNRS/LLACAN, France

Abius Akwaake (Namibia), University of Turku, Finland

Cosmas Rai Amenorvi, PhD student (Leiden)/University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Dr Azeb Amha, Leiden University, Netherlands

Dr Lilian Lem Atanga, University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Dr Elise Bagamboula, INALCO/PLIDAM, France

Dr Mimboabe Bakpa, Université de Kara, Togo

Dr David Barasa, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya

Tsabedze Bhekumusa, William Pitcher College, eSwatini

Dr Yassine Boussagui, Mohammed V University, Morocco

Dr Mulumba Mathias Bwanika, Makerere University, Uganda

Prof Dr Andy Chebanne, University of Botswana

* Dr Emmanuel Chinaguh, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Dr Joanne Davis, SOAS, University of London, UK

Dr Gabriel Delmon Djomeni, University of Dschang, Cameroon

Mbali Dhlamini, University of Western Cape, South Africa

Dr Djouroukoro Diallo, University of Bern, Switzerland

Dr Francesca Dell'Oro, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Dr Mary Edward, McMaster University, Canada

Ekiyokere Ekiye (Nigeria), PhD student, University of Aberdeen, UK

Dr Kanana Fridah Erastus, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr Ann Hildah Gatakaa Kinyua, Chuka University, Kenya

Dr Maik Gibson, SIL, UK

Kiki Giles, College of Wooster, USA

Gertrude Yidanpoa Grumah, PhD student (Essex)/University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Abayneh Haile, English Language Professionals Association, Ethiopia

Dr Matthew Harley, Theological College of Northern Nigeria, Nigeria

Dr Mohomodou Houssouba, Centre for African Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland

Dr Enoachuo Emilisco Jones, University of Buea, Cameroon

Dr Eliane Sonkoue Kamdem, Schwerin College of Education, Germany

Dr Seraphin Kamdem, SOAS, University of London, UK 

Prof Dr Russell Kaschula, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Em Prof Dr Paul Kerswill, University of York, UK

Dr Palesa Khotso, University of the Free State, South Africa

Dr Claudius Kihara, Chuka University, Kenya

Prof Dr Yamina El Kirat El Allame, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco

Dr Lynn Kisembe, Moi University, Kenya

Dr Constantine Kouankem, University of Bertoua, Cameroon

Dr Promise Dodzi Kpoglu, University of Ghana

Dr Michael Kretzer, University of Western Cape, South Africa

Dr Doris Löhr, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Mamonare Maake, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Dr Aloysia Makoae, Lesotho College of Education

Dr Busani Maseko, Lupane State University, Zimbabwe

Prof Dr Mogomme Masoga, University of the Free State, South Africa

* Dr Olesegun Morakinyo, UNISA, South Africa

Prof Dr Carolyn McKinney, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Prof Dr Fiona McLaughlin, University of Florida, USA

Mathai Monyakane, NWU, South Africa

Pogisho Motlhabane, University of the Free State, South Africa

Em Prof Dr Maarten Mous, Leiden University, Netherlands

Dr Peter Mose, Kisii University, Kenya

Letsela Motaung, University of the Free State, South Africa

Dr Benard Mudogo, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya

Prof Dr Salikoko Mufwene, University of Chicago, USA

Dr Levis Mugumya, Makerere University, Uganda

Ghazali Mutiullah Kehinde, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Dr Christfried Naumann, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany

Dr Saudah Namyalo, Makerere University, Uganda

Dr Sandiso Ngcomo, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa

Dr Nomalungelo Ngubane, University of the Free State, South Africa

Prof Dr Martha Njui Mbu, University of Maroua, Cameroon

Dr Berrington Ntombela, University of Limpopo, South Africa

* Dr Thenjiswa Ntwana, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Dr Ebitare Obikudo, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Laura Obubo (Nigeria), PhD student, University of Missouri, USA

Prof Dr Fúnmi Olúbòde-Sàwè, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria

Raphaël Otho (Congo Republic), PhD student, INALCO, France

Dr Samson Olusola Olatunji, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Dr Billian Khalayi Otundo, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Dr Walter Ochieng Sande, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya

Dr Rethabile Possa-Mogoera, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Dr Elvis ResCue, University of Essex, UK

Dr Émilie Sanon-Ouattara, Ki-Zerbo University, Burkina Faso

Scott Smith, DEA, SIL Equatorial Guinea / University of Léon, Spain

Ahmed Sosal (Sudan), PhD student, Leiden University, Netherlands

Dr Troy Spier, Florida A&M University, USA

Caroline Story, University of Cologne, Germany

Dr Berka Tah Delphine, University of Buea, Cameroon

Dr Kgomotso Theledi, Wits University, South Africa

Dr Nkechi Ukaegbu, University of Nsukka, Nigeria

Ignatius Usar, Federal University Gashua, Nigeria

Em Prof Dr Ekkehard Wolff, Leipzig University, Germany

Dr Addisalem Yallew (Ethiopia), University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Simphiwe Yende, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Dr Stella Afi Makafui Yegblemenawo, KNUST, Ghana

(*: recent additions to the member list are marked with an asterisk)


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