The 2016 French Language and Francophonie Week is taking place from March 12 to 20. It will culminate on March 20 with International Francophonie Day and will provide an opportunity for French speakers from all over the world to celebrate the diversity of our language.
The French language is spoken by 274 million people around the world. French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world but the only one, together with English, that is spoken on all five continents.
Like every year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development is actively involved in this event. André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, will pay a visit, on March 16, to the Paris Book Fair, where South Korea is the guest of honor, and which will pay tribute to Congolese literature through the cities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. On March 17, he will visit the premises of TV5 Monde, bring together former Francophonie ministers and attend the inaugural lecture at the Collège de France given by French-Congolese author, Alain Mabanckou. Lastly, he will open the 4th World Francophone Debate Championship on March 18 at the Quai d’Orsay.
On International Francophonie Day, which will celebrate the theme “the power of words” on March 20, the city of Nantes will host Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of the International Organization of la Francophonie, and the Group of Francophone Ambassadors for a series of events focusing on this topic. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will take part in this event.