Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.


African languages and the digital economy: opportunities and challenges 
Comfort Beyang Oben Ojongnkpot (University of Buea- Cameroon)
Sylvanus Effiom (Moorfields Eye Hospital)
Send message to Convenors
Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju (University of Ilorin)
Emilisco Jones Enoachuo (University of Buea)
Kula Maria Thompson-Williams (University of Liberia)
Language and Literature (x) Infrastructure (y)
Philosophikum, S78
Friday 2 June, -, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

For Africa to benefit from the opportunities of digitization and the 4th Industrial Revolution, stakeholders must reflect on how to break language barriers. Thus, contributions explore opportunities and challenges of propagating digital footprints of African languages for economic development.

Long Abstract:

The world is today involved in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Africa cannot be left indifferent. One way of being armed for this is through language digitization, which arguably includes economic development and wellbeing. Indeed, digitization is a key infrastructure for the future of the African economy. Thus, Kone (2021) maintains that “African countries need to adapt to this reality and ensure that technology becomes a central component of people’s lives and businesses.” In this vein, the African union launched the Digital Economy Blueprint(2013), dubbed, Smart Africa, to benchmark the progress of member states towards unlocking the digital economy. Language is a main driver of economic development, and failure to integrate it in the digitization process may enhance language extinction. African languages should become an instrument for achieving the digital revolution. Therefore, to what extent are African languages prepared to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution? What mechanisms have been devised to avail African languages of digitization initiatives, and what are the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital infrastructure to the valorization of African languages as engines of economic development? This panel seeks to explore the future of African languages and how development can be fast-tracked with digitization, so as to enable Africa share equally in the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Papers should reflect on ways of integrating African languages into the digital infrastructure for economic development through topics such as Language and Digitization, Language and Economic Development, Language Pedagogy, Translation, and Language Revitalization and Documentation.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -