Akan Kaseɛbɔ: First news website in the Akan Language

Akan Kaseɛbɔ (www.akannews.com), meaning “Akan News,” is the first online platform that is fully translated into the Akan language and shares information in the language, enabling speakers of Asante Twi and Fante to have access to educative and entertaining content in their native language.

Akan is a Central Tano Language (a sub-branch of Niger-Congo Language Family), an indigenous language of the Akan people in Ghana. According to Statista, Akan was the most spoken local language in Ghana as of 2021, encompassing Akan varieties such as Fante, Akuapem, Akyem, Ahafo, and Asante. Akan was spoken by over nine million people in the country.

 

About 80% of people in Ghana could use the language as their first or second language. In Ghana, the Akan language is more spoken than written.

There are major radio and television stations in Ghana that broadcast all their programmes in the Akan language, but publish their written content in English. Even when there is an attempt to write some of these content in the Akan language, there are always errors and the wrong use of special characters, “ɛ” and “ɔ”. This obviously has an impact on the corpus available for the language, and on the use of the language online.

The company leading the initiative, Bolingo, collaborates with graduates from the Faculty of Ghanaian Languages Education at the University of Education, Winneba, who contribute articles to the platform. With Bolingo’s mission to unlock confidence in African languages, embarking on an initiative such as this is significant.

Ady Namaran, Operations Manager at Bolingo made the following remark during the launch of Akan Kaseɛbɔ:  “At Bolingo, we strongly believe that representation of the Akan languages on the internet is crucial to ensure the growth and continued existence of the languages.

 

This will also promote the full and meaningful participation and access to critical information for natives of these languages on the internet.”

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