April 11, 2020 — April 10th, 2020: Ireland-based Alison, the global upskilling website has launched its highly popular Coronavirus course in some of Africa’s most widely spoken languages. The initiative is part of Alison’s commitment to combat the COVID19 outbreak and to make essential knowledge about the virus available to all worldwide. The course is based on WHO international guidelines for COVID19.

The courses are accessible (for free) via https://alison.com/coronavirus in Shona, Swahili, Southern Sesotho, Somali, Hausa, Xhosa, Portuguese, Yoruba, Igbo, French, isiZulu, and Afrikaans. (Arabic and Amharic to be released shortly).

Speaking on the launch of this initiative, Alison CEO Mike Feerick stated “COVID19 is only beginning in Africa. The global community must act as one in supporting each other through this crisis – and assisting the nations of Africa through this crisis no difference than any other part of the world. Developing and distributing free learning and certification is what we do best. It’s how we, as a team and a global free learning community of Alison, can contribute to the dealing with this crisis. I would like to thank every Alison translation volunteer for their efforts on behalf of this programme, not least those of the medical and healthcare community who are exceptionally busy at this time”

The Alison Coronavirus course has been studied by approaching 250,000 people worldwide. The course covers essential aspects of the coronavirus including the virus’ origins, its transmission, and how to protect yourself and others from getting sick. The international language programme is being managed by an Alison publishing team based in South Africa. Alison is seeking the support of African media and private individuals to support the awareness of the course among their personal networks of contacts, via social media, email and other personal networks. Alison published the course on Feb 3rd, 2020. It has previously published courses on Swine Flu, SARS and the Ebola virus.

Language: Shona
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana.
Number of Speakers: 10 Million, mostly in Zimbabwe

Language: Swahili
(Swahili has official language status in Tanzania and Kenya and is also widely spoken in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros Islands. It’s also spoken by smaller numbers in Burundi, Rwanda, Northern Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique
Number of Speakers: 100-150 Million

Language: Southern Sesotho
Countries Where Spoken: Lesotho, South Africa, and here it is one of the 11 official languages; and in Zimbabwe where it is one of 16 official languages.
Number of Speakers: 8 Million

Language: Somali
Countries Where Spoken: Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti. Recognised minority language in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Number of Speakers: 16 Million

Language: Hausa
Countries Where Spoken: Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Cameroon, Benin, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Togo.
Number of Speakers: 63 Million

Language: Xhosa
Countries Where Spoken: South Africa, Zimbabwe
Number of Speakers: 21 Million

Language: Portuguese
Countries Where Spoken: Angola, Mozambique
Number of Speakers: 45 Million (African Continent)

Language: Yoruba
Countries Where Spoken: Nigeria, Benin, Togo
Number of Speakers: 40 Million

Language: Igbo
Countries Where Spoken: Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea
Number of Speakers: 27 Million

Language: French
Countries Where Spoken: DR Congo, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Chad, Guinea, Rwanda, Burundi, Benin, Togo, Central African, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti, Comoros, Seychelles.
Number of Speakers: 306 Million

Language: isiZulu
Countries Where Spoken: South Africa, Lesotho
Number of Speakers: 12 Million