French is the second-most learnt foreign language after English and the fifth-most spoken language in the world. Of the 274-million people speaking French, more than 50% live in Africa. This figure is projected to rise to 90% in the next 30 years, making French the fastest-growing language in the world. "As French gains more weight on the continent, it will be an asset for our partnerships and exchanges. And French will evolve with the influence of local cultures," says France’s ambassador to SA, Christophe Farnaud. He notes President Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where he emphasised the importance of the French approach to building cultural exchanges in Africa. Macron said: "Cultural exchange is a growing importance for French cultural policy leading up to their season of African cultures in 2020 in France." French-speaking populations are represented by the 84-member International Organisation of La Francophonie, founded in 1970. Francophonie is tra...

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