Official language, ethnic diversity and industrialization in Africa
language policy perspectives
Does the use of non-indigenous languages (French, English, and Portuguese) as official languages affect the industrialization in Africa? This paper investigates the relationship between the average distance to official language, which captures the ability to speak an official language, and the manufacturing value-added per capita of 29 sub-Saharan Africa countries. Using a panel correlated random effect and instrumental variable approach, the paper finds that an official language distant to the most spoken local language in Africa negatively and statistically affects the manufacturing value-added. The policy implication of this study is that African’s policymakers should rethink the language policy by encouraging the use of the local languages as official languages.
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