La Francophonie intends to influence the resolution of crises in Africa
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At the end of the second and final day of the summit devoted to La Francophonie on Sunday, member countries agreed to step up the organization’s mediating role in resolving conflicts in Africa. The summit also re-elected Ms. Mushikiwabo, the only candidate, as head of the OIF for a new four-year term, and appointed France to the presidency of La Francophonie in 2024, to succeed Tunisia.

A “Francophonie of the future”. This is the final conclusion of the summit of the 88 member countries of the French-speaking bloc which ended on Sunday, November 20 in Tunisia with the stated objective of having more influence in the settlement of crises, particularly in Africa.

“Djerba did not disappoint…Tunisia did not disappoint,” said the secretary general of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), Louise Mushikiwabo, during a press conference at the end of the summit. .

>> To see: “Louise Mushikiwabo: most Tunisians “favorable” to holding the Francophonie summit”

“We are on the way to a Francophonie of the future, modernized, much more relevant,” she added.

On the island of Djerba, Sunday work was largely devoted to “citizen distrust”, with populations tired of political “turbulence”, especially in West Africa where recent State in Mali or Burkina Faso.

“All the conflict zones have been subject to long debates,” detailed the former head of Rwandan diplomacy, when asked about the tensions between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, or between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“La Francophonie is an organization that supports, a catalyst” to work “to mediate between the parties in conflict”, she underlined.

But this organization with limited budgetary means acts above all via “technical support”, for example for the preparation of elections.

Re-election of Louise Mushikiwabo

And for the mediation of conflicts, the OIF works “in subsidiarity with the regional organizations closer to the conflicts”.

On the other hand, the leaders gathered in Djerba want, according to her, “to continue the reflection to improve the relationship between citizens and rulers in a much more inclusive format” and open to civil societies.

The Djerba Declaration, adopted at the end of the summit, also contains a “clear statement”, the content of which has not been disclosed, on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron.

>> To read also: “Canada: in Quebec too, the language of Molière is declining in favor of English”

However, there is no consensus on this burning issue on the African continent where some countries are very close to Russia and regret the Western eagerness to help Ukraine, which contrasts with a lack of interest in their own crises.

The summit also re-elected Ms. Mushikiwabo, the only candidate, as head of the OIF for a new four-year term, and appointed France to the presidency of La Francophonie in 2024, to succeed Tunisia.

For Leila Slimani, special representative of Emmanuel Macron, the meeting gave “a new breath” to La Francophonie, an area of ​​321 million speakers expected to double by 2050, thanks to African demography.

La Francophonie must, according to her, “position itself more firmly in favor of multilateralism” and “take hold of new global issues”, whether it be the climate or political crises.

Strengthen the “economic Francophonie”

Rejecting “any language fight”, noting that all countries except France practice other idioms, Ms. Mushikiwabo called for investing and improving education in French on the African continent.

Another project: to strengthen the presence of French on the Internet and in international organizations, where the language of Molière is in decline, including within the European bloc of the OIF, the second largest (19 countries) behind Africa (32 country).

The OIF also wants, according to the Secretary General, to strengthen the “economic Francophonie”, increased cooperation within the French-speaking world, which will notably involve digital technology, one of the main themes of the summit extended by an Economic Forum until ‘see you Monday.

Training for 250,000 young people are planned in particular, encouragement for SMEs and French-speaking missions such as those which took 200 economic operators to Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Cambodia, two member countries of the OIF, to Rwanda or Gabon.

For women’s entrepreneurship, another theme of the summit, the head of the OIF called on member states to provide more funding for the projects of the “La Francophonie with them” fund.

Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed, host of the summit, said he was convinced that the French-speaking world will be able to “transform our commitments into solidarity actions and concrete achievements that will be up to our peoples, in particular our women and our young people”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he spoke to other leaders about the political crisis that has shaken Tunisia since Kaïs Saïed’s coup 16 months ago. “Canada is concerned about the current situation” in Tunisia and “by a decline in democracy around the world,” he told Canadian media.

With AFP

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