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The Republic of Ghana, an island among three French speaking countries and the Gulf of Guinea has since its birth shown signs of bilingualism taking into account the educational plan set up by the first president Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Building of Mont Marry college of education, an educational center dedicated to training French teachers, building Alliance Française, a center meant for teaching and learning of the French language and culture among others.
Since then, every president Ghana has ever known had always either consolidated the bilateral relationship between Ghana and the francophone world or taken it a step further through every diplomatic means possible. Almost every year, hundreds of Ghanaian students go to either France or any other french speaking country of their choice on scholarship. This, the governments do, to further strengthen their ties in diplomatic, economic, cultural and political fronts.
If the pictorial evidence below is anything to go by, then the long-term outcomes are apparent In reference to a certain number of Ghanaians who became global citizens partly due to their love for the French language such as:
His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the president of the Republic of Ghana.
It’s interesting to note that the current president of the Republic of Ghana signed Ghana unto the international organization of “la francophonie” in September 2006 when he was the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
This in itself has almost made Ghana a bilingual country on paper, but as to how soon it could become practicable, we all have a role to play as Ghanaians.
In actual fact, there is no single Ghanaian, who does not desire to be like any of the above global citizens; however the question whether we’re ready to make the required sacrifice remains unanswered. In 2017, a report published by TV3 station, revealed that Ghana Education Service needs about 13,000 French teachers to satisfy the deficiency in teaching staff. This report, followed the declaration made by the president of the Republic when he was on his first official visit to the neighboring Togo during his meeting with the Ghanaian community in Togo, that the French language as a subject will become compulsory in Ghana’s educational system at the Junior High and the Senior High school levels.
In actual fact, the reasons why Ghana should be made a bilingual State are obvious and intrinsically attached to the country’s nature.
As Ghana finds itself among French speaking countries, as our Heads of States keep advocating for regional integration, as they push for the signing of the free trade agreement among the ECOWAS subregion, the french language would be an instrumental factor and could place Ghana on a high pedestal In Africa economically, politically and diplomatically.
In my quest to synchronise my views and that of others on this subject matter, the “Français Pour Tous” team and myself met with the following authorities of the Republic of Ghana:
H.E John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of the Republic of Ghana
H.E Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the incumbent Vice Chairperson of African Union
H.E Kojo K. Alabo, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Republic of Russia
Hon. Frank Agyekum, former Minister of State
Hon. Dr Yaw Osei Adu-Twum, Deputy Minister of Education in charge of secondary education
Mr Stephen Kwaku Darku, Youth Activist and the 2017 president of the Junior Chamber International(Ghana chapter)
Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour, Eastern Regional Minister with whom I recently had a programme on the radio France Internationale regarding the state of the french language in Ghana. Throughout all these engagements, one idea seemed to be common: Making Ghana an English french bilingual country.
To conclude, I would like to remind my cherished readers of a statement president Kufuor made in the year 2003 during his state of the nation’s address in the parliament. ” Mr Speaker, mastering the french language is of such practical necessity, it should be put on the priority list. I can testify to this Mr Speaker, from the constant embarrassment I come face to face with whist I move around the subregion. There are many times that I wished I could do without a translater. In this era of ECOWAS, I do not wish this handicap on any Ghanaian child”. As to what might have inspired such a decisive statement from the former Head of State, I keep to myself what he said to the “Français Pour Tous” team during our meeting with him, to allow all discerning Ghanaians guess possible answers for themselves. Ghana goes bilingual..!
Writer: Emmanuel Amegavi Sosu
President, Français Pour Tous (French For All).
Tel: 0272649898 / 0244078803