The Francophone Embassies in Ghana and Alliance Française have lined iup a number of interesting activities to maark this year’s weeklong Francophone Festival in Accra under theme, “Say it in French...please”.
The festival was officially launched last Saturday with the Togolese Afro-funk group, Voudou Game, taking centre stage with a grand and lovely performance.
The launch was attended by ambassadors, ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs), religious and traditional leaders and a number of distinguished personalities.
Activities lined up for the weeklong festival included a dictation exercise in French that took place last Monday aimed at testing skills in French.
A popular Quebec comedy on fatherhood and solidarity was also held last Tuesday and a Karaoke in French on Wednesday the following day, showcasing a night of classical and contemporary Francophone music.
A professional workshop is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, where people will be taught how to write a curriculum vitae or motivation letter or prepare for an interview in French. In the evening there will be a taste of France and a photo exhibition on Friday.
The climax on Saturday, will see the well-known duo, laureate of RFI 2018 Talent of Laughs Award, crowning the Francophonie Week with its humour, inspired by current events and irrestible word games.
Ms Ayorkor Botchwey (second right), on her right is Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh. After him is Madam Anne Sophie Ave , French Ambassador and on her right is Madam Heather Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana. With them are other ambassadors and officials.
Canadian High Commissioner
Addressing officials and guests, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mrs Heather Cameron, on behalf of the Francophone ambassadors, commended Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his decision to bring Ghana into La Francophonie as a full member state.
Mrs Cameron pointed out that the weeklong celebrations was a reminder of La Francophonie's engagement towards peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development.
The ambassador noted that La Francophonie puts women and the youth at the centre of its actions.
She said La Francophonie represented 300 million French speakers around the world who kept enriching the language on a day-to-day basis through cultural diversity and social interactions.
Ambassador of France
The Ambassador of France to Ghana, Madam Anne Sophie Ave, earlier noted that the International Organisation of La Francophonie, created in 1970, represented one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world.
She said it sought to embody the active solidarity among its member states and governments, which consisted 61 members and 27 observers.
Together, she said, they represented over one-third of the United Nations member states and accounted for a population of over 890 million people.
In his address, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, observed that the celebration of the Francophonie Festival, provided a period for reflection over our achievements.
Dr Prempeh was happy about the steps that had been taken to teach pupils the French Language, saying that the “early bird catches the worm.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who delivered part of her address in French, expressed the believe that the teaching and learning of French extensively in Ghana will inure to our benefit since we are bordered by three Francophone countries; Togo, Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire.
She regretted the inadequate number of French teachers in the country and limited learning and teaching materials and encouraged increased participation and support in this area.
Ms Botchwey said the acquisition of French as a second language was a major concern of the government of Ghana as it was in line with national priorities.
The Foreign Minister reiterated plans by the government to include the promotion of the learning of the French language in basic schools and across all other levels of learning, as part of a general reform of Ghana’s education sector.
She noted that last year Ghana signed the Linguistic Pact with La Francophonie for improved technical support and capacity building for teaching and learning of French.
Ms Botchwey recalled that at the last La Francophonie summit held in Erevan, Armenia in October 2018, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made a bold commitment to the International Oganisation of La Francophonie members.