Visit by Ms Yamina Benguigui (22 - 25 July 2012)
The 13th international convention of teachers of French was held in Durban, South Africa, from July 22nd to July 25th. Gathering some 700 people from 130 countries, it was the first time that the convention took place in Africa. The Minister Delegate for Francophony praised this strategic choice, as 700 million French-speakers are expected to live in Africa in the coming 40 years.
Participating in diverse workshops ; Yamina Benguigui, Minister Delegate for Francophony, conveyed a message of hope and trust to the 900 000 French teachers teaching our language around the world.
In a government which made Education and Youth a priority, Yamina Benguigui will be able to count on a network of 490 schools and “lycées français”, as well as on 500 institutes or “Alliances françaises”, to act in the educative and cultural fields.
The Minister took the occasion of her numerous exchanges to elaborate three main goals for her actions :
- The first priority will be to consolidate the French-speaking “family”, by acting in the 30 or so countries where French is either the official and teaching language or a second language needed for social and economic life. Two regions will be most focused on : sub-Saharan Africa, where the goal will be to achieve full time education for all, and the Arab countries, where Francophony is to help tightening our links with the civil society and the Youth, driving force for change
- The second priority will be to reinforce our position in the non-French-speaking countries : French is the second most learned second language, after English, with 116 millions learners. The goal will be to give the possibility to learn French to every willing student in a non-French-speaking country. It will only be possible with the help of the teachers present at the convention, who will be committed to work fully with the Ministry on setting a “FranEducation” network of French bilingual schools.
- The third priority will be to promote French in international life, diplomacy, multinational organisations and trade. Medias with global covering, social networks and internet are the premises of a global civil society, where French should remain an international language. The Minister made several proposals so that big French companies adopt “linguistic protocols”, where they would commit to train their employees to French language and use it in their activities.