A tale of two federations: Comparing language rights in South Africa and Ethiopia

01 Aug 2016

The success of a federal arrangement in accommodating ethnic diversity cannot be measured solely on the basis of its language rights regime. However, it is generally agreed that a well-designed language rights regime goes a long way in contributing either to the effective reconciliation, unity and diversity or to the eventual polarisation of cultural communities. This article focuses on the challenges of adopting an inclusive language policy in multi-lingual states. Using two case studies, South Africa and Ethiopia, it examines the different policy alternatives for accommodating linguistic communities.