Dar es Salaam, 14 March 2011
FRANCOPHONIE WEEK IN TANZANIA
“Le français, langue d’intégration régionale”
|Twelve diplomatic missions represented in Tanzania are jointly organising cultural and sport events to celebrate the 41th anniversary of the “Francophonie”, starting from March 14th to April 1st , 2011, as well as the International Day of Francophonie on the 20th of March, 2011|
The Embassies of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Switzerland, France, Belgium, Vietnam, Rwanda, Mozambique, Canada, Burundi, as well as the Consulates of Djibouti, Seychelles and the Union of the Comoros have joined hands to celebrate the Francophonie in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha. This year’s leitmotiv is “French, a language of regional integration”, which has a particular significance for Eastern and Central Africa, as well as for Tanzania. Indeed, as one of the main languages of the East African Community, the French language is an essential communication tool to foster regional integration in this part of Africa. Also, next year Switzerland will hand over the presidency of the international Francophonie to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania’s French speaking neighbour to the West and an important actor in sub-regional and regional endeavours for integration and cooperation.
Among the events planned for this year’s “Francophonie” season in Tanzania, let me just mention a few :
• An opening ceremony for invited guests at the French Residence, hosted by H.E. Ambassador Jacques Champagne de Labriolle
• A dance performance by Madagascan and Gabonese dancers, at the Makumbusho Village Museum
• A Swiss-Canadian Movie night at the Little Theatre
• A football tournament at IST School
• French Language quiz and competition
• Arusha will see a French Cinema Week at the Alliance Franco-Tanzanienne as well as a French Dance Party and other French Entertainment
• and in Zanzibar, the Association Franco-Zanzibarite will organise Teacher trainings, public street poetry performances, as well as a series of entertainments to help Zanzibaris discover the French language
The “Francophonie” was born in 1970, when under the initiative of three former African heads of state and the King of Cambodia, 21 countries sharing the use of the French language signed a convention to establish what is now the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF). Today, the OIF counts 56 member states and 14 observer members.
The OIF pursues political, cultural and economic objectives. At its summit meeting last October in Montreux/Switzerland, which was attended by 38 heads of state and of government and a total of 1750 delegates, the OIF’s relevance as an essential and influential member of the global institutional architecture was reaffirmed and a series of concrete measures were adopted in order to promote :
• the Francophonie’s active role as an actor in international relations and global governance
• the Francophonie’s solidarity and commitment to cope with the big global challenges to sustainable development (food security, climate change, biodiversity)
• and the contribution of the French language in meeting the challenges of diversity and innovation in education
Today, French is either the first or second language of more than 200 million people worldwide, half of them living in the African continent, and is an official language in most international and regional organisations, including the UN and the African Union.