Francophonie organisation to promote local African languages

Paris- France (PANA) -- The International Francophonie Organisation (OIF) plans to provide substantial funding in the coming months to promote local African languages, OIF sources revealed Wednesday.
The project to support local African languages will be tabled for discussion at a seminar due 20 March in Brussels, alongside activities commemorating the International Francophonie Day.
"We have entrusted reflections on the issue to erstwhile Senegalese Culture minister Makhily Gassama, and hope to rapidly implement the project," the head of the Francophonie Inter-Governmental Agency, Roger Dehaybe, told PANA.
Dehaybe explained OIF interest in local languages on what he said was a desire to improve the teaching of French in African countries, saying that a good mastery of the mother tongue enables easier learning of a foreign language.
The promotion of local African languages, as advocated by several African linguists, had on the morrow of independence aroused little enthusiasm among African states.
However, certain countries notably in West Africa, launched the experience in special schools where French was taught along with local tongues.
"In some countries like Mali or Niger, the experimental schools set up in the 70s gave conclusive results.
But the experience was not generalised.
This time, we hope the OIF project will help us go further in the process," linguist El Hadji Ari Awagana of Leipzig University in Germany stated.

06 march 2002 22:05:00

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