The Francophone Summit: a staple in the calendar of the French-speaking regions of the world and many observer countries. Being held in Yerevan, Armenia on the 11th-12th of October, this summit gathers 84 government and state leaders, mainly to address the nomination of the organisation’s new Secretary General. Rwanda’s Minister of foreign affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, has won support from France to be successor of Canadian Michaëlle Jean. Her nomination marks the symbolic return of Africa as head of the organisation. Though French President Emmanuel Macron openly voiced his strong support for Louise Mushikiwabo, others have strongly criticised or have at least been surprised by her nomination.
Indeed, because of the reported violations of human rights in Rwanda, observers such as political analyst Isidore Kwandja Ngembo considered President Macron’s support to be a worrying political message for West African countries pushing forward with the democratisation process. Beyond this controversy, other subjects were addressed such as the replacement of French by English in Rwanda as the language of education in 2008 and also the country joining the Commonwealth one year after. “Even though as a former Belgian territory its historic ties to Britain were negligible” explained FRANCE 24 with AFP.
Although Rwanda “had turned its back on La Francophonie in the past” and has a record on human rights at odds with the organisation’s values, Louise Mushikiwab seems to stand a good chance in the run towards the Secretary General seat. The announcement will be made today, so stay tuned!
For further information :
France 24: https://www.france24.com/en/20181012-rwanda-francophonie-summit-choice-chief-mushikiwabo-makes-waves-africa-jean-armenia