As we know, the French-speaking world comprises 88 countries on all continents.
Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, the French-speaking world is everywhere and takes French culture with it.
Practised, taught and defended, the language of Molière is making a strong comeback in diplomacy, which was in the process of becoming an unofficial language, promoting our values and our humanism.
Launched in 1962 by Léopold Sédar Senghor, President of Senegal, Hamani Diori, President of Niger, Habib Bourguiba, President of Tunisia and Norodom Sihanouk, Head of State of Cambodia, this idea of bringing together continents, countries, men and women of all origins around the French language and culture was a magnificent gift to our country, the value of which we have not always measured.
From a cultural perspective, the Francophonie has since spread to all sectors: economy, sustainable development, digital innovation, youth, education, training, etc.
In a few decades it has become a discreet but effective force, an invisible but powerful link, an honour without ostentation.
The French language, so badly treated at home, forced to defend itself in order not to be deprived of its simple past, shines abroad.
From North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa to the United Arab Emirates, from Uruguay to Poland, from Viet Nam to Lebanon, from Haiti to Romania, from the Seychelles to Bosnia Herzegovina, not forgetting Greece, Georgia, Canada…. all these countries carry their membership of the Francophonie like a banner.
They remind us of a pride that we have, unfortunately, often forgotten, abused and abandoned through excessive self-flagellation, and that we must recover.
We will then rediscover the aura of France in the world, the resonance of its voice, the power of its image.
Firstly, its cultural image, with the challenge of honouring the legacy of our philosophers, poets, musicians, thinkers, etc., who have contributed to our influence over the centuries.
Secondly, it is economic, because the French-speaking world is a formidable space for exchanges, partnerships and joint ventures.
The recent International Forum of Francophone Enterprises (FIEF) held in Dakar, where I had the honour to speak, was a perfect illustration of this.
United by the use of the French language, each of the participants, African politicians, business leaders and listeners, called for the strengthening of links within the Francophonie, considered by all as an opportunity, a pride and a hope.
It is up to us, French politicians, business leaders, artists, thinkers, citizens…, to measure the importance of this because the Francophonie must also be an opportunity, a pride, a hope…
Chairwoman of Public Conseil
President of the Institutional Commission of the Groupement du Patronat Francophone (GPF)