More Black UK and African American citizens should learn languages native to Africa and, further, speak them to moderate or high fluency if they are to contribute to the growth of the continent and of themselves in investments targeting Africa. In recent times (as recent as August/September 2016), top entrepreneurs like Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have made quantum leaps in investing in Africa– that should tell you and me something.
Africa’s potential is huge and numerous opportunities will always crop up for those ready for them- that’s a natural principle of life. Learning an African language at such a time as this could be your most valuable foreign language venture- start today!
Recent Global investments in Africa
Recently, more governments and companies all over the world are increasing their investments in Africa. For instance, in 2014, foreign direct investments (FDI) hit a record $80 billion according to this Wall Street Journal article that also stipulated a projection of a 5.7% growth in African economy in 2015.
Europe and the US have always taken the lead in direct investments in Africa but China is quickly overtaking the US in terms of FDI. For an updated full coverage of 10 trending foreign direct investments in Africa, trending go to this World Economic Forum article.
African languages you could start with
Learning a people’s language is the way to speak to their hearts as Nelson Mandela said. By this you get accessibility to their culture and way of doing things, you know their past and can thus move on into the future with them. It gives you untold influence and power.
Recommended native African languages to learn
Top 2 main languages native to Africa that you could explore and choose 1 to start with:
Spoken by over 100 million people, Swahili (in English) or Kiswahili in local tongue is a fantastic language. It is the most powerful of Africa’s indigenous languages with a massive influence in East and Central Africa- especially along the Indian Ocean coastline. Countries in which it is extremely popular include Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and to a lesser but still significant extent, Zambia, Congo, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Comoro Islands, Burundi, and Somalia.
Swahili has over time been heavily influenced by European languages like English. In fact, Swahili’s alphabet is a replica of the English one and only omits Q and X. That means for English speakers, Swahili wouldn’t be too hard to learn- at least in the sense that you will not be learning a new alphabet.
Some of the resources available in learning Swahili include books like Swahili Begins Here! and Ali Mazrui’s free pdf guide to Swahili. You can also find videos and podcasts online. Viable investments available in Africa include insights like this one on buying of property in the real estate sector.
The west of Africa’s chief language is Yoruba. It has over 30 million speakers mainly located in countries like Nigeria, Togo and Benin. If you are into investments in Nigeria- which is a big investment hub in Africa- try learn some Yoruba!
Resources to learn Yoruba online include the Learn Yoruba website (a project of Bis International), and Yoruba Online.
Other popular languages include Afrikaans, Zulu, and Wolof.
Seeking to grow Africa by making your own investments and knowledge based contributions? Learn an African language spoken in your country of interest and you’ll open up huge windows of opportunities. Especially for Black UK and US citizens, this is an extremely timely time to start further developing the continent- and yourself!