Examining East Africa Community Strategies for Forging a Common Identity among the Citizenry: A Comparative Study of the Promotion of the East Africa Community Anthem and Kiswahili in Uganda

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This study is about the strategies of crafting a common identity among the EAC citizenry employed by the East African Community. It is premised on a comparison between two policies that is, the East African Anthem and Kiswahili that have been adopted by the Government of Uganda. The study was carried out in the Republic of Uganda with the aim of ascertaining why popularisation of the EAC anthem was a success whilst Kiswahili language is stalling. The study addresses three issues guided by the objectives; Firstly, to identify factors that affect the choice of policies for popularisation at the national level. Secondly, to examine the strategies for popularisation of the EAC anthem and Kiswahili by the government of Uganda and lastly to determine how the EAC could leverage from the lessons drawn from the success of popularisation of the EAC anthem. Social constructivism theory, Transactionalism theory, Liberal Intergovernmentalism theory, Policy implementation models and policy diffusion provided a constructive theoretical framework that guided the study to the attainment of its desired findings. The study was made up of 44 randomly selected participants that took a leading role in the formulation, coordination, implementation and promotion of EAC anthem and Kiswahili. Other than the interview technique, the study also used document review technique and focus group discussion to collect its data. The findings revealed that the parameters for implementing and promoting the anthem are different from those of Kiswahili. Given the musical connotations of the anthem, the findings revealed that music is a language that doesn‟t have to be understood for one to sing along. Additionally, the success of policy implementation and promotion requires a joint effort from the policymakers and policy promoters. Similarly, policy makers and promoters maintained that the government of Uganda is in a position to establish support for the implementation of Kiswahili just as it did with the EAC anthem through developing Kiswahili Curriculum that is applicable through out the country, running national campaigns to change people‟s attitude towards Kiswahili language, budgeting for both human resources and teaching resources for Kiswahili programmes among others. However, the study proposes alternative ways in which Kiswahili could be promoted such as funding of Kiswahili courses, setting aside annual Kiswahili days, rolling out Kiswahili as a compulsory subject throughout the country.




East African Community, Strategies of crafting a common identity