Hausa is a Chadic language (a branch of the Afro-Asiatic family) spoken by more than 34 million people in parts of Nigeria, Niger, and Chad, and as a trade language by another 18 million people throughout West Africa (especially Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire), Central Africa (Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea), and northwestern Sudan. It has a rich literary tradition in both Arabic and Roman scripts, as well as a thriving oral tradition and a huge film industry. Knowledge of Hausa is important to governmental work, international non-governmental organizations, and international businesses.
We have a long history of teaching Hausa since the 1960s. Our Hausa program engages students in Hausa-speaking cultures through rich multimedia resources. Hausa classes at UW-Madison are small. Our students are eligible for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships, which cover partial tuition for one year and provide a stipend. Students from our Hausa program have gone on to work in the Nigerian film industry, join the Peace Corps, teach at leading universities, and work for the Voice of America.