The Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions

ACALAN shall establish a Commission for each vehicular cross-border language. The Commissions shall constitute the working structures of the Board and the Assembly. The selection criteria and the number of the members of each Commission are determined by the Rules of Procedure.
ACALAN has started since end 2009, the organization of regional operational Workshops for the establishment of the first 12 languages selected for the establishment of the Vehicular Cross-border Language Commissions (Working Structures of ACALAN). They are : Standard Modern Arabic and Berber for North Africa; Hausa, Mandenkan and Fulfulde for West Africa; Kiswahili, Somali and Malagasy for East Africa ; Cinyanja/Chichewa and Setswana for Southern Africa and Lingala and Beti-fang for Central Africa.

The 12 Languages have been selected according to the following criteria:

  1. Number of regions in which the language is spoken therefore the more the regions the better the chance for selection
  2. The number of countries in which the language is spoken
  3. Number of speakers of the language
  4. Range of vehicularity, and user spoken languages
  5. Language development status
  6. Scope of literature available i.e. literary works and other materials available in the language
  7. Domains of use i.e. education, media,
  8. International recognition i.e. use in foreign broadcasts, translation of materials (UNESCO History of Africa). This factor can be used as criteria for knocking out competing languages.
  9. Legal status and Willingness to work together.

In accordance with the recommendations of the Synthesis Conference held in Addis Ababa in 2009, the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) organised operational and planning workshops to launch ten (10) out of the first batch of twelve (12) Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions, namely: Chichewa/Chinyanja and Setswana in Southern Africa, and Fulfulde Hausa and Mandenkanin in West Africa (established in 2009), Beti-fang and Lingala in Central Africa , and Somali, Kiswahili and Malagasy in East Africa (2011). Due to the socio-political situation in Northern Africa, the Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commissions for Standard Modern Arabic and Berber could not be established.