President Akufo-Addo (2nd from right) exchanging pleasantries with some of the Francophonie ambassadors after the  54th Anniversary of the International Organisation of La Francophonie in Accra. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
President Akufo-Addo (2nd from right) exchanging pleasantries with some of the Francophonie ambassadors after the 54th Anniversary of the International Organisation of La Francophonie in Accra. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

Govt targets bilingual society for Ghana — President

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the goal of the government is to ensure that Ghana becomes a bilingual country where English and French are spoken, together with its own indigenous languages. 


To attain this, he said, on May 15, 2018, he authorised the signing of a language pact with the organisation of La Francophonie.

He said the government had also introduced a bilingual classroom project at the basic education level where certain subjects were taught in both English and French, alongside the teacher mobility programme initiated in November 2021, which had seen some 20 French teachers contributing to enhance the quality of teaching of French in Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo, who is fluent in French and English, announced this at a flag- raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House to mark the 54th anniversary of the International Organisation of La Francophonie in Accra yesterday.

On the theme; “Creation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” the occasion was attended by members of the diplomatic corps and heads of international organisations, especially those from the Francophone nations.

Also in attendance was the military band and two military contingents.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, raised the Ghana flag, while the Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana, Maher Kheir, hoisted the La Franchophonie flag.


Touching on the teaching of French, President Akufo-Addo, who spoke in English and translated it into French to the applause of the gathering, said the achievements and success of the programme had led to its renewal for a two-year period.

“In the light of the recent lift on the moratorium on new memberships, and continued support from the OIF Secretariat, I'm pleased to inform you that Ghana has made substantial strides in our pursuit of full membership,” he added.

“We are poised to submit our application for change in status and we are optimistic that the provided information will meet all relevant requirements.

“We are very hopeful that the 2024 summit in France later this year will mark Ghana's transition to full membership status within the OIF,” he assured.


President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana recognised the strategic importance of its immediate neighbours who were bound by profound ties of blood, geography and history to the development of the country.

He recounted how during his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006, he led the Ghanaian delegation to the 11th Francophonie summit in Bucharest in Romania which resulted in Ghana becoming an associate member of La Francophonie, without having to be made an observer member.

He explained that Ghana, an Anglophone nation, was only one of a handful of countries that enjoyed membership of both the Commonwealth and the La Francophonie, a situation the country valued very much.

It was for that reason, he explained, that Ghana was determined to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation with La Francophonie by transitioning from an associate member to a full member.

He noted that Ghana, a strong functioning democracy, shared the aims and values of La Francophonie and looked forward to playing a significant role in the realisation of these values, adding that, “Now I am particularly happy that this transition will take place during my mandate as President of the Republic”. 

2050 target

President Akufo-Addo said by 2050, the French language would become one of the world's most commonly spoken language, with French speakers rising to over 700 million, 80 per cent of whom would be in Africa. 

French language

Ambassador Kheir, who is also the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, called for the reaffirmation of their commitment to democracy, human rights and comprehensive development.

“Let us rededicate ourselves to fostering dialogue, understanding and reconciliation among people of different cultures and backgrounds and celebrate the richness and diversity of the Francophonie and shared heritage, while embracing our differences,” he said.

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