French, a language of development
French is one of the languages that offers a gateway to the resources for economic, social, educational and scientific development in many OIF member countries or in other countries where French is, for historical reasons, a traditional vector for international perspectives or interchange with neighbouring countries.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is primarily involved in projects receiving funding from the Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP) to improve standards of French in the school and university sectors of the countries concerned, in particular by making significant contributions to the initial and ongoing training of school teachers of French, of post-graduate students and of young research professors.
The Ministry is also a stakeholder, along with the University Agency for Francophonie (AUF), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the OIF, in the LASCOLAF programme, “Languages of education in fundamental education in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa”.
Alongside the OIF, it supports the development of the Network of Centres for French as a Foreign Language in Africa (RECFLEA) currently operating in Togo, Benin, Ghana and Nigeria. It also contributes to initiatives to facilitate the coexistence of French and national languages, such as the “Support for Bilingualism in Madagascar (ABM)” project.
Establishments forming part of the French cultural network (French cultural centres, bi-national centres, Alliance Française schools) all play their part by developing the teaching of French in their sector, including in those countries where French is the language of education.
The Ministry also supports OIF initiatives to promote the use of French by international, continental or regional organisations in Africa: French cultural establishments often run training programmes for the headquarters and governing body employees and officers of these institutions, as well as for the diplomats accredited to them.