OSD/AFRICOM Roundtable on African Languages and Cultures

Professor Antonia Schleicher was invited to speak at the OSD/AFRICOM Roundtable on African Languages and Culture, held at Kelly Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany from June 20 – 23, 2010. This event was sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Defense Language Office and was organized by the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL). The purpose of the Roundtable was to bring together representatives of AFRICOM and experts in African languages and cultures to discuss the language and cultural environment of Africa and their  impact on the operations of AFRICOM with the goal of mapping out a progressive way forward.

Professor Schleicher spoke on a panel to address the most important cultural distinctions between the West and  Africa, and how the West (AFRICOM, in particular) is perceived by Africans. The goal and focus of her contributions was to help AFRICOM better understand how to work with Africans. Prof. Schleicher’s presentation was entitled “Language as the Core of Cross Cultural Understanding” in which she discussed and demonstrated the pivotal role that language plays in cross cultural understanding.