Word of the Ambassador
FRANCOPHONIE IN KIGOMA
Francophonie is alive in Tanzania. Three establishments are dedicated to its diffusion and have been for decades: the Dar and Arusha’s Alliances françaises and, currently in a process of expansion, the Arthur Rimbaud French School. There exists as well a Franco-Zanzibari Association (AFZ), which is currently changing address in the capital city of Zanzibar and moving to a new spacious location.
But there is also another area in Tanzania where francophonie is truly alive. Situated in the west of the country, neighbouring countries which are, themselves, old and important members of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), the region of Kigoma has numerous schools where French is taught. French is a true regional communication language. Moreover, refugee camps, which are hosting around 200 000 Burundian and Congolese refugees on Tanzanian territory due to political crises in their respective countries, are teaching in difficult conditions thousands of children who are learning French. In order for all of them to be able to continue studying in our language, they need to be helped.
The group of ambassadors of francophone countries wished to go on the field to evaluate the situation and has, for this purpose, participated in a visit organised by the United Nations at the beginning of this month. I would like to thank every single person that facilitated our movements in the field and allowed us to gain insight not only on the state of French teaching but on education in general. The observation that we can make is simple: even though there are numerous good wills, the means are far too limited to ensure the education of the multitude of children in Kigoma’s schools as well as in the refugee camps. Therefore, I am appealing to generous donators who could help us on the realisation of projects ( building school rooms, furnishing schools in desks and chairs, training teachers, providing school manuals…), in order for the children of this region to be able to go to school in decent conditions.