Panafrican News Agency

France: OIF secretary-general visits Indian Ocean member states

Paris, France (PANA) - Francophonie International Organisation (OIF) Secretary-General Michaëlle Jean on Tuesday began a week-long official visit to the Indian Ocean OIF member states of Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, the organisation has announced.

Her 22-29 March trip will end with a tour of a tourism and sustainable development project of the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Praslin in Seychelles.

According to the OIF, Ms. Jean will meet with President Hery Rajaonarimampianina of Madagascar in Antananarivo, Foreign Minister, Mrs. Beatrice Atallah, as well as representatives of the French diplomatic corps.

She will also use her visit to Madagascar to inaugurate the Regional Office of the International Organization of the Francophonie to the Indian Ocean.

"In less than eight months, the sixteenth Francophonie Summit will take place in Antananarivo, this visit will be an opportunity to see the progress of preparations and before going to meet the Malagasy population, especially the youth.

"At the crossroads of Africa and Asia, two key centres of economic strategy for the Francophonie, Madagascar and the countries of the Indian Ocean embody the plurality, diversity and vitality of the francophone world. The November summit will be an opportunity to show that French may be the vector responsible for development and shared growth, "Jean said.

In Mauritius, in addition to meeting with President Gurib-Fakim and Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth, the Secretary General will meet with students of the Institute of Pedagogy and the University of Mauritius as part of celebrations of the Francophonie week.

Jean will also meet with the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude de l'Estrac, and deliver a speech on the theme "Economic Strategy for the Francophonie" at the annual dinner of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mauritius.

The OIF chief will wind up her tour in Seychelles where she will be received by President James Michel, and hold talks with the ministers of Finance, Education and Environment.

On her stopover at at the Vallée de Mai world heritage site, Jean will hold a meeting with networks of women entrepreneurs as well as the private sector.

The OIF comprises 57 member states and governments and 23 observer countries.
-0- PANA AR/MA 22March2016