2016 Francophonie Festival
The Embassy of France in Ghana and its two major arms, Institut Français and Alliance française, and the Francophone embassies in Ghana participated once again in one of the largest francophonie festivals in the world, featuring in particular literary and performing arts events. Most of the events took place at the Alliance française which acted as a cultural window of the Francophonie in Ghana.
On the evening of Saturday 19th of March, the Francophonie Festival reached its peak with the “One woman show” performed by Burkinabe stand-up artist Roukiata Ouedraogo. This was the closing event of an entire week dedicated to the Francophonie, for which every year, all French-speaking Embassies in Ghana get together to share and enjoy their cultural and linguistic traditions through the French language.
On this occasion, the Ambassador of France to Ghana, HE François Pujolas appreciated Ghana’s participation as a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) since 2006. Interacting with media, he also commended the government’s involvement to obtain the signature of a linguistic pact with the OIF that shall soon bear fruit. He stated that improving the Francophonie in Ghana will contribute in a better regional integration, value addition for Ghanaian youth careers and thus leading to economic development of Ghana and political stability in West Africa.
On Tuesday 15th, the French Ambassador to Ghana François Pujolas attended Cecil’s morning show on Uniiq 95.7 Fm at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation studios, along with his counterpart Swiss Ambassador to Ghana Gerhard Brügger. They discussed the Francophonie Festival that is currently taking place in Ghana.
The festival kicked off on Saturday 12th of March with an opening ceremony at the Alliance Française in Accra, in presence of Francophone Ambassadors to Ghana and a wonderful evening of concerts with Ghanaian songstresses Suga and Sherifa Gunu, followed by Malian star Fatoumata Diawara and her band, to the great pleasure of the crowd.
Along with the musical theme, Francophone films were screened twice every day in Maison Française at the University of Ghana, Legon. Similar events took place in various Alliances or Maisons Françaises all across Ghana.
On Wednesday evening, Ambassador Pujolas hosted a dinner at the Residence of France. Over 150 guests and representatives from over 15 francophone embassies in Ghana enjoyed a grand buffet with culinary specialties of each francophone country represented on this occasion, thanks to the contribution in kind provided by each embassy. The deputy minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, was present on this occasion among other distinguished guests.
This week-long festival also hosted economic and academic events with the ‘Job and Entrepreneur Fair’, which enabled students or young graduates to meet businesses and associations for various job opportunities, while a roundtable discussion with successful businessmen was dedicated to entrepreneurship. Besides, information as provided on studies in Francophone countries, especially France, to all interested students from Ghana.
Find out more about the Job Fair and Entrepreneurship Forum here.
Many students also took part in the French Contest, “le Grand Concours”, showcasing their incredible abilities to master this language. John de Baptist KOUAO, from the University of Education, Winneba won for the Specialist category and Carlos DOSSOU-YOVO, from University of Development studies (UDS), Navrongo Campus won for the Non-specialist category. Both of them won a trip to France!
Find out more about this Grand Concours here.
The last day of the Festival witnessed a Francophone cultural fair at the Alliance Française, which allowed visitors to travel in Africa without leaving Accra! The products, food and drinks were simply incredible, all aligned with a rich selection of literature, dance, fashion or craft exhibitions.
Find out more about the cultural fair here.
Ghana holds the status of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF in French) associated member since 2006. Francophonie in Ghana, a country surrounded by Francophone countries, represents a unique opportunity to meet francophone or francophile persons and develop partnerships with the francophone communities.
As 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Ghana joining the OIF, it gives this event a remarkable dimension.
The term “Francophonie” refers to all of the states and governments worldwide who share the French language. The International Organisation of La Francophonie, created in 1970, represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 80 member states and governments (57 members and 23 observers), which together represent over one-third of the United Nations’ member states and account for a population of over 890 million people, including 220 million French speakers.
IOF organizes political activities alongside the four main missions which it has been assigned:
- To promote the French language, cultural and linguistic diversity,
- To promote peace, democracy and Human Rights
- To support education, training, higher education institutions and research
- To foster cooperation in favour of sustainable development.
Its head office is in Paris, France, with regional offices all over the world, including one in Togo.
For more information on International Organisation of La Francophonie, click here