|Niger's National Assembly, where the 1978 meeting was|
formally opened. (Source: Britannica.com)
In 2014, I called attention to the then upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1966 Bamako expert meeting on "Unification of Alphabets of National Languages," with the suggestion that it might be a good occasion on which to revisit a number of issues relating to writing African languages, and consider new developments (many of which relate to technology). Nothing came of that, and for my part I didn't push the idea.
However it is worth asking again whether efforts development and use of African languages in written form - now digital as well as on paper - would benefit from another expert meeting or larger conference. Some topics could be:
- State of harmonization of Latin-based orthographies. This concerns not only many cross-border languages, but also accessibility to written forms of diverse languages within countries and across regions.
- Role and development of historic and invented non-Latin writing systems.
- The technology interface from coverage by Unicode to use in various devices and contexts.
- Standardization of input systems for extended Latin and non-Latin scripts.
- Language technology interface - bridging the oral and the written in new ways.
Hopefully the question raised by this post will get wider response than the one I posed about the Bamako meeting.