Every year, French speaking populations, present in more than 88 countries from all over the world, celebrate la Francophonie on the 20th of March. In Accra, “La Semaine de la Francophonie”, held between the 16th and 23rd of March 2019, took place in honour of this day and to recall its core values which are the promotion of the French language and further cultural and linguistic plurality. A number of events were organized by the Francophone embassies, including Switzerland, in collaboration with the Alliance Française.
The week of celebration started with a grand opening ceremony attended by a large number of guests not only from the Francophone communities but the Ghanaian society at large with the presence of Hon. Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education and Dr. Eric Adja, Director of the West Africa regional headquarters of the International Organisation of La Francophonie. The events during the week-long festivities were diverse with a programme advertising film projections, a karaoke, provincial food tasting, quizzes, a one-man show and more.
The Embassy of Switzerland contributed to the festival by hosting on March 22 a public screening of the award winning Swiss movie “Ma vie de courgette”. In his introductory remarks, Mr. Daniel Lauchenauer, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, stated: “French and multilingualism are core to Switzerland’s values related to diversity and social inclusion and are actively encouraged”. The film, whose story traces the life of a young boy called Courgette in an orphanage, is the recipient of many awards including two prestigious César Awards for Best Animated Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.
As a full member and important contributor to the International Organisation of the Francophonie, Switzerland aligns itself with the core values of the organization which promotes democracy, peace, human rights and the participation and inclusion of young people.