Languages connect people. It is through language one learns about the culture, customs and tradition of a community or ethnic group.
French is the second-most learnt foreign language after English and the fifth-most spoken language in the world. Of the 274-million people speaking French, more than 50% live in Africa. This figure is projected to rise to 90% in the next 30 years, making French the fastest-growing language in the world.
South Africa celebrates its French association with cultural diversity. France's ambassador to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud, pointed on how France and Africa are moving more partnerships and exchanges in the near future. According to him, the French language will grow more with the influence of local culture and African ethnicities.
France is looking forward to cultural programmes with Africa as pointed out by French President Emmanuel Macron during his recent speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Macron said, "Cultural exchange is a growing importance for French cultural policy leading up to their season of African cultures in 2020 in France."
International Organisation of La Francophonie an eighty member organization, founded in 1970 represents the French-speaking population. March 20 is marked as UN French Language Day and traditionally celebrates Francophonie, a three week-long festival currently going on at the Alliance Française Pretoria, with special emphasis on music, culture, dance, and films from Francophone countries. Francophonie stands for cultural diversity/ multiculturalism. French policy's main aim is the cultural exchange and includes education, cultural projects, and operations with reference to the French language.
South Africa has 30,000 students, 260 schools and 17 universities all associated with Alliance Française' network. For South African diplomats French is a compulsory language. Department of International Relations and Co-operation has more than 600 employees fluent in French.