March 20th is the international day for Francophonie.
It has been celebrated all around Vanuatu through many activities organized by schools.
In Efate, the schools of Saint-Jeanne d’Arc, Lycée Louis Antoine de Bougainville, Lycée Montmartre, IFEV, Onesua, Epauto, etc. have all organized their own programs through various activities with the students.
All over Vanuatu, from South to North, several celebration programs have taken place in Tanna with Lamlu school, in Pentecost at Melsisi, in Malekula at Wala Rano and in Santo with the Lycée of Luganville.
A cocktail has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Training and Francophonie and the representative of the International Organization for the Francophonie, Mr. Gaetan Ruru.
With the presence of the deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Joe Natuman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ralph Regenvanu, the Minister of Education, Mr. Jean-Pierre Nirua, the government has shown its unity to promote and develop Francophonie in the country.
Mr. Nirua has clearly explained that the objective for the country is to make every student become bilingual within the next 10 to 15 years.
He stated that this is why the project of the bilingual national university of Vanuatu was so important.
The diplomatic delegations were also present with the New-Zealander High Commissioner, Mr. Jonathan Schwass, the French Ambassador, Mr. Gilles Favret and the support of the Canadian High Commission.
In his speech, Mr. Favret reminded that the concept of Francophonie has been developed by newly independent countries after the Second World War, in order to promote a dialogue between different cultures and to spread important values such as humanism and cooperation.
He also highlighted the necessity for other countries than France to promote Francophonie, as in 2050 around 700 millions of people in the world wills speak French with a huge majority of them residing outside of France.
In Vanuatu, the situation seems very positive because there is a common will from all different development stakeholders to promote Francophonie and bilingualism all around the country.
As the minister Mr. Nirua reminded, the Constitution of Vanuatu states that the official languages are French, English and Bislama.