Five months after Malta became a member of the International Organisation of Francophones, a number of initiatives have been taken to promote the French language and the country’s culture, including a weekly programme that is being transmitted on this station.
During these days the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the French Embassy in Malta are organising a number of cultural activities to mark Francophone International Day being celebrated on Wednesday, 20th March. This is the first time ever that Malta is organising such an event.
Throughout the world there are about 300 million people who speak French, the fifth largest spoken language in the world.
The majority of these live in one of the 88 countries that are members of the Organisation. Of these, 26 countries have observer status, including Malta which joined the group last October.
French is the official language in a third of the member countries and in Africa alone there are 55% of all the people that speak French.
Initially the Organisation was solely composed of former French colonies but later this was widened to include countries that have a connection with France, such as those countries that speak French or have affiliations to French culture.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said the country felt the need to join the Organisation not only because of its connections to France and the French language but also because of other values, including democracy.
The Minister said that now that Malta has taken this step there is the obligation as an observer country to promote the French language, even through the media.
With this as a background, Television Malta has made an arrangement with the French television network TV5 and has started to transmit a current affairs programme named ‘Sette jours sur la planete’ every Sunday at 11 am on TVM2. The French language programme runs for 30 minutes, carries subtitles in French and relays news from around the world.
Activities organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the French Embassy this coming week include a concert, a film screening and an evening of music and literature, all aimed at widening French culture in Malta.