Politics and policy: an analysis of the policy environment and motivating factors behind the English language policy in Rwanda
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 15:58 authored by Claire Nogic
This thesis aims to examine the motivating factors behind the English Language Policy in Rwanda. This policy was implemented in late 2008 and represents a shift in the linguistic landscape of Rwanda from an era of trilingualism to bilingualism. Subsequently, French is no longer the medium of instruction in education or the language of choice in business and government. This policy reflects the various policy networks and elite in Rwanda and is anchored in the policy environment of the state. -- Chapter 1 provides some initial insights into the background of Rwanda's history and the English Language Policy. It presents a conceptual framework for this research by examining three theories, namely Elite Theory, Policy Networks and the policy environment which are highly applicable to the Rwandan context. -- Chapter 2 examines the history of Rwanda from pre-colonial times to present day. This confers an understanding of the policy environment and particularly the changing elite, ideologies and policies of the state. -- Chapter 3 explores public policy with an emphasis on the public motivations behind the English Language Policy in Rwanda. It analyses the motivations of globalisation and geostrategic pragmatism, the reasons given by policy-makers for the design of this policy. -- Chapter 4 addresses the hidden motivations behind this policy, namely the anti-French sentiment in the Rwandan state due to the explicit involvement of French actors in the years leading up to and during the genocide of 1994. -- Chapter 5 asserts that the English Language Policy was written as a result of both the public and hidden motivations of elites in positions of power in Rwanda. Furthermore, it formulates recommendations for further research.