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According to the Constitutive Act of the African Union, its working languages are Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, and African languages “if possible”. A protocol amending the Constitutive Act, adopted in 2003 but as of June 2016 not yet ratified by a two-thirds majority of member states, would add Spanish, Swahili and “any other African language” and declare all “official” (rather than “working”) languages of the African Union. The Executive Council shall determine the process and practical modalities for the use of official languages as working languages.
Founded in 2001 under the auspices of the AU, the African Academy of Languages promotes the usage and perpetuation of African languages among African people. The AU declared 2006 the Year of African Languages. 2006 also marked Ghana’s 55th anniversary since it founded the Bureau of Ghana Languages originally known as Gold Coast Vernacular Literature Bureau.