In his opening speech of the 17th Summit of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (International Organisation for Francophonie) in Erevan on October 11th, the French president said he wanted to “reinvent Francophonie” and “recover young people, and in particular young people from Africa”.
Sharing a certain vision of the world
The French president underlined in his introduction that French language is the “property of all”, that it’s the language of a linguistic community “united by its ideals, hopes, and deepest desires: fraternity, peace, freedom, human dignity, and justice” also reminded that the Francophonie includes 84 nations. Macron also underlined the lively aspect of French language, always “fuelled by new meanings, constructions and experiences” thanks to the diversity of its members that are all part of the Francophonie “family”.
Attracting young people
For France, the first priority of Francophonie is to recover young people, particularly from Africa, insofar as the African continent will boast 700 million French speakers in the mid-XXIst century. To the end, Africa will turn out to be the area where there are most French speakers, according to the report from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF, International Organisation for Francophonie) presented during the Summit.
A symbol for the future
So the French president stressed the fact that all French-speaking nations must work together to “turn Francophonie into a symbol for the future and of recapture”: Francophonie must, among others, “facilitate access to the best universities, allow the best researchers to publish in the best journals”.
French is now the fifth language spoken in the world, with 300 million speakers, after the Chinese, English, Spain and Arabic, which is according to the OIF, a 10% increase since 2014.