Sunday, May 28

MoHERST, French Embassy observe Int’l Day of La Francophonie

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The celebration, held at the Alliance Francaise on Kairaba Avenue, brought together various delegates who joined the French government in their commemoration.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairman of the board of directors of Alliance Francaise in Banjul, who doubles as the Minister of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, stated that the Gambian Francophone community, the Alliance Française in Banjul and their partners are actively working to keep the French language alive and dynamic in The Gambia. 

He stated that celebrating the Francophonie means recognizing the potential of language and culture to unite people, to create spaces of solidarity and mutual understanding, and to reflect together on their common future. “Celebrating the Francophonie allows us to magnify the presence of the French language in Gambia, an English-speaking country where the language of Molière is taught, spoken and loved,” the minister said.

He advanced that in 2023, as every year, Gambian francophones are actively mobilizing to promote the French language, not only on the occasion of the Francophonie but also on other occasions and days.

He informed that this year again, the Alliance Française in Banjul celebrates the Francophonie throughout the month of March by honouring its French-speaking partners. This year’s event and activities included the Francophonie march with more than 500 students and teachers; the days of the economic Francophonie with Senegalese and Gambian entrepreneurs; the linguistic cooperation with the graduation of Gambia military and police students; among other events.

He commended the French Ambassador for signing the partnership agreement for the implementation of the FSPI project “Academic and Digital Capacity Building” carried out by the Universities of Caen and The Gambia.

He said the project will enable the reinforcement of the skills of teachers and trainers of trainers in French in an English-speaking country wishing to strengthen its cooperation with the surrounding French-speaking environment.

He noted that the project will thus help strengthen the regional integration of The Gambia and develop its economy by opening up to the French-speaking world. And that the FSPI’s aim is to support the development of the skills of the various local actors and the co-construction of the degree course and the doctoral school, with a view to empowerment.

 He concluded that the FSPI will rely on close cooperation between UNICAEN and the French department of UTG, and on the expertise and the support of the local operators of the French language in The Gambia: the regional direction of the AUF and the Alliance française de Banjul. That it will also rely on the support of the Gambian Ministry of Education.

For his part, the French Ambassador in Banjul thanked the Gambia government for the cordial relationship and strong partnership between the nations.  He said the event was a significant symbol of Franco-Gambia friendship.