Posted: Thursday, 11 November 2010, Nairobi
Author: UNIC Nairobi
The University of Nairobi, in partnership with the United Nations (through its Office in Nairobi), officially launched the very first MA programme in translation and interpretation in this region. The launch took place at the University of Nairobi, on 9 November 2010. This initiative dubbed the “African Project” is the culmination of joint efforts of many stakeholders, including other universities on the continent, the European Union institutions, the African Development Bank, the African Union, several African regional organizations and the United Nations. The project is in recognition that within the next four years, international organizations will lose close to 40 per cent of their language staff through retirement and that Africa will be the hardest hit, due to the lack of trained language professionals on the continent. The MA programme at the University of Nairobi, which includes Kiswahili as one of the languages, is being perceived as a model which other universities on the continent are seeking to emulate. Already one university in Maputo (Universidade Pedagogica de Mocambique) and another in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) have embarked on a BA programme patterned on the Nairobi model. The launch was graced by the presence of Mr. Shaaban M. Shaaban, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, several Directors-General from the European Union and a host of permanent representatives based in Nairobi.