In This Week in the Great Lakes, Burundi was caught whining about the fact that more Anglophonic countries in the East African Community (EAC) for some reason don’t speak French. According to Afriquejet:
Burundi Minister of East African Community Affairs, Hafsa Mossi, on the eve of the opening of the legislative session, pleaded the cause of the French language commonly used in her country, “so that all member states can work in agreement and harmony.”
The EAC, created by Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda to standardize a slew of monetary policies and broaden markets, was joined by Rwanda in 2007. Not wanting to be the less popular post-genocidal country as it always is, Burundi jumped on board and joined the EAC as well.
However, Burundi’s supplication that French be used at the EAC parliamentary discussions speaks to a larger political shift that Burundi has found itself in the middle of. Over the past 10 years, Rwanda has anglicized itself, realigning its political orientation as an Anglophonic African country and telling France and to a lesser degree Belgium, they suck. Switching to English as the national language was one element of this realignment. Joining the EAC was just another.
In doing so, Rwanda has become the geographic intersection at the epicenter of how the Great Lakes is dividing itself in a post-1994 world. Rwanda is on the path to rewriting its history as an Anglophonic country and Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are happy to include Rwanda’s burgeoning market and international attention in it’s ranks. What language you speak is once again at the center of shifting political tectonics in the Great lakes, and English seems to be the taste of the day.
Once again, Burundi feels left out.