No, Senegal hasn’t made Arabic its official language

Hundreds of posts on X and Facebook have recently claimed that Senegal decided to make Arabic its official language instead of French, adding that this decision was taken during a council of ministers' meeting in late April. However, the minutes from the council’s last meeting indicate no change to the country's official language. Furthermore, a presidential source told the FRANCE 24 Observers team that to date, "Senegal has not changed its official language".

"The end of Francophonie and its’ official death: Senegal has adopted Arabic as its official language, replacing French,” a social media user claimed on Facebook on April 29. Over the past few days, numerous social media posts – some of which have garnered hundreds of thousands of views – have shared the fake news that Senegal had changed its official language from French to Arabic.

This fake news story was first reported in an article published on April 30 by the media outlet Middle East Monitor, which has since taken the article down. It gained fresh momentum when it was picked up by KBC Channel 1 News, a public media outlet in Kenya, who shared it on May 1. KBC’s post on X garnered at least 15,000 views before it was deleted.

A source at Senegal's presidency confirmed to the FRANCE 24 Observers team that the story was false. “The official language of Senegal has not changed,” they said.

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