Panafrican News Agency

Francophonie, framework for togetherness and development or system of domination

Tunis, Tunisia (PANA) – The francophone community every 20 March celebrates international Francophonie Day, declared on 19 February 2010 by the United Nations before being adopted in 2013 by UNESCO.

The date also coincides with that of the creation of the francophone cultural and technical cooperation agency in 1970 in the Nigerien capital, Niamey. It later became the Francophonie governmental agency now regarded as the higher body of the International Francophonie Organisation’s organs.   

A recent report issued by the OIF French language watchdog listed the number of francophones in several countries, including Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.

It cited Tunisia as being on top in the Arab Maghreb, compared to the number of people who use the French language in their daily life, with a rate of 52 percent of the overall population, followed by Morocco with a rate of 35 percent.

On the African continent, it is reported that 96 million people speak French in African francophone countries, the sources said.

In February 2018, President Emmanuel Macron re-launched the future of Francophonie in Tunisia and the Arab Maghreb.

Francophonie was often severely criticized in Arab Magherb countries where intellectuals and political forces considered it as a cultural domination tool that facilitated the French presence and the preservation of its interests in the region.

Moroccan researcher Maher Malah said that this cultural system “was conceived in the form of a domination project, with a chauvinist ideology”.

In that respect, he cited several pronouncements, including that made by General De Gaulle who said that the French language was a tool of alternative war to armies, preserving “our interests rather than our armies”.

Former French president François Mitterrand agreed wholeheartedly at the Francophonie Summit of Versailles held in 1986 when he stated: “If we cannot notice that belonging to francophonie politically, economically and culturally represents more, then we failed in the job we undertook several years ago”.

For history, the first fleet leaving France to conquer Algeria carried, in addition to arms, a print shop in the French language.


-0- PANA  YY/IN/BEH/MSA/RA  20Mar2019