What is Francophonie?

Anyone who has lived some time in Quebec or perhaps spent time in some other French-speaking country would run into the term ‘Francophonie.’ ‘Francophonie’ means French-speaking quality. However, most people incorrectly assume it to be the Organisation internationale de la francophonie which is also called La Francophonie sometimes.

The term designates a quality score of sorts to organizations, people and governments that speak French as their primary language, i.e., for teaching and administrative tasks, etc. The OIF was mainly created to facilitate cooperation between all of its members on the basis of culture, politics and economic issues. Also, one of its goals is the promotion of the French language and the assurance of linguistic diversity, intercultural dialogue, democracy, education, and development.

History of Francophonie

The Agency for Cultural and Technical Co-operation was created in 1970, by reps from 21 states and governments mainly influenced by heads of African countries like Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, Niger’s Hamani Diori and Nordom Sihanouk from Cambodia. The mission of the intergovernmental organization was the promotion of other cultures to its members and the intensification of the technical cooperation between each of them via dialogue.

The Francophonie project was later transformed into the Agency for Cultural and Technical Co-operation. In 2005 it adopted a new Charter of the Francophonie.

Primary Directive of Francophonie

The primary mission for the organization is the promotion of the French language so that it becomes an international language. That in addition to cultural and linguistic diversity throughout the globe. That’s why countries part of the Francophonie has influenced UNESCO to table the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expression in 2005.

The French language despite being widely spoken still faces problems of promotion at the local level especially in partnership with co-existing languages in member countries mainly those of Africa. So, maintaining the importance of French requires solidarity between everyone and the pooling of resources amongst committed countries.

Francophonie has pioneered recognizing the fact that cultural diversity exists and there can be a dialogue between cultures despite linguistic boundaries. The goal is to find a way to confront a growing trend moving towards uniformity which is often part of globalization and the preservation of all cultural norms across the world.

Creation of Universities

Creating a French-speaking university to serve African development was first presented and then later adopted after the 1989 Dakar Summit. Today’s Senghor University is considered one of the leading private postgraduate institutions which train high-level trainers and managers something which has been a priority for Francophone Africa.

The capacities of trainers and managers, as well as responsibilities in various domains for development, are directed by Francophonie. Senghor University also organizes seminars which are designed to help students and even the public earn a specialization in certain domains while also collaborating with other Francophonie institutions. Hence it also helps foster and promote the growing need of French as a language both as a learning and teaching medium.