President Macron launches bid to make French the first language in Africa and 'maybe even the WORLD'

Emmanuel Macron is launching a bid to make French the first language in Africa - and 'maybe even the world'.

The French president has impressed foreign audiences by giving speeches and interviews in near-flawless English, a language viewed with hostility by predecessors like Jacques Chirac.

But the 40-year-old is on a drive to expand global use of his native language, particularly in Africa - the world's youngest continent in terms of the age of its population - which he sees as a wellspring of future speakers of the language of Hugo and Moliere.

Today, on International Francophonie Day, he will set out his plan to improve the standing of French, the world's fifth most spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish and Arabic, according to the French foreign ministry.

On a visit to the west African country of Burkina Faso in November, he called on Africans to help make French 'the first language in Africa and maybe even the world in the coming decades!'

But ahead of Tuesday's speech at the Academie Francaise - the gatekeeper of the French language - his advisors said he would settle for third.

The philosophy graduate and literature lover will announce around 30 measures to improve teaching of French, reverse the decline in its use in international institutions and support francophone musicians and authors.

But at home his penchant for anglicisms and English slogans such as 'start-up nation' and 'Make our planet great again' have raised eyebrows.

The International Francophonie Organisation has forecast that because of explosive population growth in Africa, over one billion people will live in French-speaking countries by 2065, second only to countries that speak English.

In Africa, it predicts that French will overtake English by 2050, given stronger population growth in former French colonies that speak the language.

Critics say the statistics are misleading as not all inhabitants of countries that have French as an official language speak it.
Macron is treading carefully, aware that any attempt to foist more French on former African colonies where Paris has a history of propping up authoritarian regimes could backfire.

In Burkina Faso, the 40-year-old president said he was 'from a generation that doesn't come to tell Africans what to do', and argued that 'the French language is no longer solely French but also, maybe even more so, African.'

One of the main components of his language plan is investment in education in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

On a visit to Senegal in February, he pledged 200 million euros ($248 million) towards the Global Partnership for Education.

But among African intellectuals, the linguistic ambitions of France's president, often nicknamed Jupiter, or god of gods, for his lofty style, have met with scepticism.

Franco-Congolese author Alain Mabanckou, a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, turned down an invitation by Macron to help draft the plan, seeing it as a cover for continued meddling in former colonies.

His sentiments were echoed by Franco-Djiboutian author and scholar Abdourahman Waberi.

'If he really wanted to get away from the colonial past, he would have consulted more, listened more and engaged in more dialogue' with Africans, Waberi told AFP.

Credits: Daily Mail

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general information purposes only. They do not constitute our legal or professional advice. Readers are advised not to act on the basis of the information contained herein alone. Every situation depends on its own facts and circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage of whatsoever nature which may arise from reliance on any of the information published herein without consulting a professional legal practitioner.

Slider Parnert

What Are the Benefits and Reasons For Registering a Business?
While at face value it seems registering a company is not a necessity, years of research has proven that it is indeed important.
In fact, your success in business may actually depend on it.

Chat with WhatsApp

Expert Company Registration!

Henriette Thatcher's Lounge Online
Welcome To Henriette Thatcher's Lounge, The Gist Palace For You, About You, For Me, About Me, For Them, About Them and For Us, About Us All. Our World, Our Way, By Us and For Us! Social Media Manager
Chat with WhatsApp