President elated about Ghana’s full membership of La Francophone

President Akufo-Addo (third from right) intaracting  with Secretary General of La Francophonie, Michael Jean

President Akufo-Addo (third from right) intaracting with Secretary General of La Francophonie, Michael Jean

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana’s new status as a full member of the La Francophonie will boost the country’s foreign policy objective of establishing cordial relations with countries and organisations with shared values and beliefs.

 

Speaking at the 17th La Francophonie Summit here at Yerevan, Armenia yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana, with its strong, functioning democracy, shared the aims and values of La Francophonie and expressed the country’s commitment to play a significant role to promote those values.

 

“Our goal is to live, one day, in a bilingual Ghana, i.e. English and French, together with our own indigenous languages. We have already begun to work towards this. On May 15, 2018, I authorised the signature of a language pact with La Francophonie, towards helping to make this a reality,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the lives of Ghanaians were intimately linked with the francophone world and stressed the need to partner them to address mutual challenges.

 

He said the French language was one of the world’s most commonly spoken languages, with French speakers expected to rise to over 700 million in the next few years.

 

“As a country bordered to the north, east and west by French speaking countries, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana recognises the strategic importance of her immediate neighbours, to whom we are bound by profound ties of blood, geography and history, and, indeed, of all French speaking countries, to the development of our country,” he said.

 

The President noted that during his time as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, he was privileged, on September 28, 2006, to lead the Ghanaian delegation to the 11th Francophonie Summit in Bucharest, which resulted in Ghana becoming an Associate Member of La Francophonie, without first having to be made an Observer Member.

 

“Ghana, an anglophone nation, is only one of a handful of countries that enjoys membership of both the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, and we value this situation very much.

 

“That is why we are determined to strengthen the bonds of friendship and co-operation with la Francophonie, by transitioning from an Associate Member to a Full Member,” he said.

 

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his government had introduced a bilingual classroom project at the basic education level, where certain subjects were taught in both English and French, with French being a compulsory subject.

 

With 84 members making up La Francophonie, the President stressed the need to increase trade and investment co-operation amongst member countries

 

“History tells us that this is the best route to general progress and prosperity. With the help of digital technology, we can then accelerate economic growth, create the much-needed jobs for our youth, and take advantage of the vast potential of Africa’s young population,”

 

“I am an unrepentant optimist, and I am confident that we can work together to build such a new world, with member states of La Francophonie taking the lead,” the President said.

 FROM YAW KYEI, ARMENIA

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