In a bid to Foster Education, culture, French and Francophonie,the Embassy of France in Uganda has on Friday 7, 2020 signed a 30,000 Euro Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bonjour Kampala web-radio.
The project is aimed at promoting professional teaching of the French language in Uganda using the media and new technologies.
H.E Jules-Armand Aniambossou, Ambassador of France to Uganda, signed the MoU on behalf of the Embassy while Thomas Mbusa Letakamba, Director of Bonjour Kampala, signed on behalf of the web-radio at a ceremony held at the French Embassy.
The Embassy has made education, culture, French language and Francophonie its number one priority and is working closely with the Ministry of Education and all the other stakeholders to improve the place and role of French in the country, promoting it as a professional language of communication, education and culture for the youth, students, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, artists and sports fraternity.
“The usefulness of French to Uganda, a country sharing its borders with the biggest Francophone nation cannot be over emphasized”, declared Aniambossou.
Over the next twelve months, Bonjour Kampala, a newly formed independent, multicultural francophone web-radio is anticipated to use the funds to promote high quality French teaching, adapted to the labour market and use the media as a means of promoting French and Francophone cultures.
This will be done in association with the teachers, learners, schools, universities, artists, Radio France International listeners’ club (Club RFI) and TV5 Monde among other partners.
According to Mbusa, this project is quite timely as it will allow for the continuity of learning event when the schools and universities are still closed due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Some activities will include creating interactive French learning tools through radio, TV and internet, training in ethical journalistic practices, management and use of new technologies, broadcasting cultural programs, promoting French clubs in learning institutions and organising programs and events in all the regions of Uganda.
Within the perspective of relaunching French in Uganda, the Ambassador of France has in recent weeks participated in a workshop on professional French teaching, with Bonjour Kampala, Alliance Francaise, National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), APFPO, University French lecturers among other stakeholders. The Ambassador has also visited Kabale University with whom the Embassy intends to work to improve French teaching in the region.
France’s strategy for French language and multilingualism is to enhance teaching, communication and creation in French.
With over 300 million speakers worldwide, majority (59% in 2018) being in Africa and aged below 30 years, French, the 5th most spoken language in the world, is no longer a property of France but a truly global language.
Additiinaly,French is the only language alongside English which is spoken in all the continents and is the official language of 32 States and governments.
Infact,French is the second most taught language, after English, on all the five continents. In 2018, over 50 million people were learning French as a foreign language.
French has for years and is still widely the second most used language in diplomacy, 3rd in business and 4th on the internet.
In Uganda, French is the second most taught foreign language that is attracting more and more learners. Currently, there are about 7,000 learners of French at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of learning, with some 405 teachers all over the country.