This day, proclaimed by the 40th General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 2019, is celebrated this year, for the first time, in a way that is close to normality, after the limitations caused by the covid-19 pandemic in the last two years.
"The commemorations that the CPLP is having in Angola, with the presence of our Portuguese Minister of Culture [Pedro Adão e Silva], will be very important and contribute a lot" to the projection of this day, the president of the Camões Institute, João Ribeiro de Almeida.
In addition to Angola, which assumes the rotating presidency of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and organizes, among other events, a festival in Luanda named after the Portuguese-speaking community, Mozambique and Cape Verde stand out in Africa as the countries with greater number of programmed activities.
Among the 139 activities planned, João Ribeiro de Almeida also made a point of distinguishing the launching ceremony of a professorship in Portuguese, the 61st in the world, at the University of Paraná, in Brazil, which gives expression to one of the priorities do Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language.
"I have been fighting a lot at Camões for the creation of professorships at the level of higher education. Because that is what makes the Portuguese language stand out as a language of knowledge, research and innovation", stressed the diplomat.
"It will be a beautiful moment, because we will be marking the World Portuguese Language Day and the centenary celebrations [of the birth] of José Saramago. , former Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be in Paraná, at the inauguration of the chair", which will be named after the Portuguese Nobel Prize in Literature, he revealed.
Portuguese is the fourth most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue, after Mandarin, English and Spanish. United Nations that, in less than 30 years, can reach around 400 million speakers.
Portuguese is already the most widely spoken language in the southern hemisphere. In addition to being spoken in Macau, it is the official language of the nine member countries of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, which together are worth around €2.7 billion, which would make this group the sixth largest economy in the world, if it were a country (IMF).
It is also the fifth language with the highest number of users on the Internet and is the official and/or working language in 32 international organizations, from the European Union, Mercosur or the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Among the countries that invest the most in teaching Portuguese, China is particularly prominent, where currently 56 universities teach Portuguese as a foreign language and approximately 5,000 students attend these courses, according to data collected by the Camões Institute.
"This day is an opportunity to inscribe the Portuguese language in the various global agendas, whether cultural, academic, diplomatic or even economic, affirming its strategic importance", considered the Portuguese Government, in a note released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.