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Minor in African Languages and Literatures (MALL)

Program in African Languages at the University of Georgia

The program in African Languages at UGA is one of the most outstanding in the country. The program is renowned for sound African language and culture pedagogy. Established in 1988 as the first PAL in the state of Georgia with courses in Swahili, the program is presently situated in the department of Comparative Literature (CMLT) with the Arabic program in the department of Religion. During the last 25 years, the program in African Languages at the University of Georgia has offered courses in diverse African languages including: Amharic (2007-2010); Arabic (since 1996); Hausa (2011-2014); Manding (2005-2009); Swahili (since 1998); Yoruba (since 1996) and Zulu (1998-2002). Through two grant awards from the Fulbright Program and the International Institute of Education, the African Studies Institute was able to offer Hausa language and culture classes during the 2011/12 and 2013/2014 academic sessions. The growth of the programming African Languages across the UGA campus is encouraging. The goal is to increase the number of African languages taught at UGA by introducing, on a permanent basis, additional languages from South Africa (Zulu or Shona)  and one additional language from West Africa (preferably Hausa).

Program Links:

KIKO: Swahili Online                           

AKOYE: Yoruba Online                       

Arabic AT UGA                                    

Administrative Unit Language(s) Director/Coordinator



African Languages & their Administrative Units

African Studies Institute

Amharic (not currently offered)Hausa (not currently offered)

Dr. Karim Traore

ASI Language Coordinator


Comparative Literature Department

Swahili- offered at all levels

Yoruba - offered at all levels

Manding (not currently offered)

Zulu (not currently offered)

Dr. Dainess Maganda

Director, African Languages Program


Religion Department Arabic - offered at all levels

Dr. Alan Godlas

Co-Director, Arabic Language Program.




Program in African Languages in the Comparative Literature (CMLT) Department:   

CMLT has hosted and provided significant support to the PAL which has continued to enjoy a strong partnership with ASI. Interestingly, the program in African Languages came into existence at the University, just a year after the establishment of the then African Studies Program. The program in African Languages in CMLT has offered courses in diverse African languages including: Manding (2005-2009); Swahili (since 1998); Yoruba (since 1996) and Zulu (1998-2002). Presently, two languages, Swahili and Yoruba are being taught at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. A lot of the credit for these working relationships and the development of the PAL must go to its founding director and long term director (1997 – 2009) of ASI, University Professor Lioba Moshi. She worked to create a PAL with innovative African language instruction at UGA. Over the years, she has worked with qualified faculty including Dr. Akinloye Ojo (Yoruba professor and current ASI Director) and Dr. Karim Traore (ASI language coordinator). Dr. Dainess Maganda who now serves as the Director of the Program joined in 2012 in African Languages. Over the years, the program has been the backbone of the African Studies Institute. Many of the students in the Language Program take other courses in African Studies to qualify for the Certificate in African Studies and the Minor in African Studies. It was on the strength of the enrolment numbers, the available courses and the quality of the language faculty that a minor in African Languages and Literatures (MALL) was established in 2007 within the department of Comparative Literature. Since then, the program in African languages has been critical to MALL’s growth.

Swahili has a longer history at the University of Georgia, having been initiated in 1988. The instruction of Yoruba started in 1996. The languages program is very popular with over 100 students a year. In addition, cultural courses are provided on the Swahili and Yoruba people as well as on the Manding culture. PAL faculty members have received U.S department of education grants in the past for the development of online language learning materials for Swahili (2000) and Yoruba (2003). The program emphasizes the incorporation of culture in language instruction and learning. Each semester, the students participate in a cultural awareness program which includes ethnic foods, skits from the language classes, and a guest speaker. This is usually the highlight of the program, one that both students and their friends (sometimes family members) look forward to.

(To find specific course requirements for the minor in African Languages & Literatures:

Program in Arabic in the Religion Department

Arabic is both an Asian and African language. It is the language of roughly 208 million people: 110 million in Asia and 98 million in Africa. In addition, it is the liturgical language of about one billion Muslims throughout the world. At UGA we offer a major and minor in Arabic. The major consists of a full four years of courses in Arabic, beginning with a three year (six semesters) sequence in Modern Standard Arabic.


Program Personnel: ALL INSTRUCTORS


Dr. Alan Godlas

Dr. Kenneth Honerkamp

Dr. Adel Amer

Dr. Yassin Mohamed





Manding Dr. Karim Traore 706-542-8123

Dr. Lioba Moshi

Dr. Dainess Maganda

Ms. Susan Nkurlu

Ms. Zarina Wafula






Dr. Akinloye Ojo

Mr. Gabriel Ayoola  




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