President Nana Akufo-Addo expects more Ghanaians to pick up the French language as trade between African countries deepens.
Speaking on Touch of France, a show about French culture, President Akufo-Addo said the trade factor in encouraging French-speaking in Ghana is especially relevant amid the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“As a necessary consequence, the language will have to be a determinant of that [trade] and it will be a very important incident of our capacity to trade effectively,” President Akufo-Addo said on the show.
All the countries bordering Ghana are Francophone countries, and he indicated that more formal trade channels will also encourage bilingualism between Ghana and its neighbours.
There are 21 countries with French as an official language.
“As the trade becomes more and more formalised, I think the necessity for both sides; both the French people and the English-speaking people to be able to exchange information in the languages that they speak is going to be almost irresistible.”
President Akufo-Addo himself speaks French, having lived in France for a period when he was younger.
“Living in the country [France], your friends are all from there, you live within French social circles, you have no choice, you have to pick [the language] up.”
He recalled that within six months of his stay in France, he was competent at the language.
Touch of France is a TV talk show mainly starring Ghanaian celebs and showcasing France and its culture in Ghana.
It is hosted by the French Ambassador, Anne Sophie Avé.