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Official Language Choice in Ethiopia: Means of Inclusion or Exclusion?

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DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1100932    1,160 Downloads   2,355 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Official language choice in a multilingual polity is a challenging phenomenon. One of such polities, Ethiopia, took “historical accident” justifications for grant to select its official language which unequivocally disregards its own linguistic diversities. Amharic language has been arbitrarily designated as the sole official language of Ethiopia since the making of modern Ethiopia. This piece uses government documents and other literature to examine Ethiopia’s official language choice and its consequences. Overall, the findings show that the knowledge of Amharic language remained determinant in order to access federal government institutions thereby serving as a means of exclusion of non-official language speakers, such as Oromo, the largest ethnic group in the country. This work thus suggests rethinking official language of Ethiopia.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Midega, M. (2014) Official Language Choice in Ethiopia: Means of Inclusion or Exclusion?. Open Access Library Journal, 1, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1100932.

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