La Francophonie - Logo of Erevan event
12 October 2018

The Francophonie is now more valuable than ever given the crisis of multilateralism

The 17th Francophonie Summit is taking place on 11 and 12 October in Yerevan (Armenia). At the summit, France is supporting the candidacy of the Rwandan diplomat Louise Mushikiwabo to head the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF). This international institution is now needed more than ever to tackle the crisis of multilateralism.
 
With 84 member states across all five continents, the OIF is the largest international organisation with a universal vocation after the UN.

Its priority must be to win back young people, particularly in Africa. Investment must be made in education, with that of girls and women being a priority: "The Francophonie must be feminist", urged the President of the Republic on 11 October.


 
 

It must also promote French as a "language of creation". With this in mind, Emmanuel Macron has called for a congress of French-language writers to be organised, bringing together authors, publishers and all those who have language-related jobs.



Louise Mushikiwabo, Africa’s candidate (endorsed by the African Union since the Nouackchott Summit)

Louise Mushikiwabo’s candidacy to head the OIF, which France supports, is consistent with her vision for the Francophonie, a vision advocated by the President of the Republic at the Académie Française and in his speech in Ouagadougou:
 
  • Give Africa a central role, which reflects its leading position in demographic terms (by 2050, 85% of the world’s French speakers will be in Africa): "the epicentre of the French language is undoubtedly in the Congo River basin".
     
  • Promote the idea of a Francophonie that is open to multilingualism, since "the main struggle for our language is a struggle for multilingualism […] Fighting for the Francophonie does not mean fighting to shrink the Francophonie".
The President of the Republic is the primary defender of the respect for human rights within the Francophonie. He has proposed a revision of the OIF’s membership conditions, in an effort towards making them more stringent.