People’s Daily, China’s biggest Chinese-language online news website, has joined a long list of international media organizations broadcasting and publishing news content in Swahili language.
The Chinese state-owned media giant headquartered in Beijing launched the Swahili version of its website – swahili.people.cn. Also unveiled alongside the Swahili website by the company are the Italian and Kazakh online news platforms.
This, according to the Chinese media outlet, is part of a continuing ‘effort to expand its worldwide programming to target new regions, groups, and content categories.’
The Swahili online news website is expected to provide speakers of this language with information about China’s politics, economy, society, culture, science, and education, among other subjects, and will also facilitate exchanges between Chinese people and people in these regions.
A national language in East Africa, Swahili is spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The language, considered Bantu, is also spoken in parts of Malawi and Mozambique, besides other countries that have introduced its teaching in schools such as in South Africa.
Chinese engagements in these countries have been growing in recent times.
China already has news organizations publishing and broadcasting their content in Swahili language such as China Radio International and Xinhua News Agency, and the People’s Daily expands this list.
Apart from the media, a number of Chinese Universities are teaching the Swahili subject. In fact, the number of Chinese natives speaking Swahili within China itself has grown significantly in the last couple of years.
The latest move by People’s Daily Online further lays a foundation to build a multi-language, multi-terminal, all-media, full-coverage, world-class news outlet that is global in scope.
“The launch of the three new versions is an important step by People’s Daily Online to further bolster and improve its international communications capacity, which always strives to adopt communication methods targeting audiences from different regions, countries, and groups, in this way better telling China’s stories, and presenting a true, multi-dimensional and panoramic view of China to the world.” The company said
The development immediately received praise from the Director-General of the Department of African Affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wu Peng who expressed hope that the website will enhance ongoing relations between China and development partners in Africa
The People’s Daily Online is now available in 12 foreign languages including English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Korean, German, Portuguese, Italian, Kazakh and Swahili.