KAMPALA- In the bid to promote and improve the quality of the French language in Uganda, the French embassy has fortified its partnership with higher institutions of learning by signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) together with a financial boost of 80, 000 Euros.
This was held at their premises at Nakasero on Monday October 9, with representatives of the Institutions from Kyambogo, Makerere University Kampala, Makerere Business School and Kabale University.
Speaking at the ceremony, His Excellency, Jules – Armand Aniambossou, the French Ambassador to Uganda said that it was the first time all the four universities gathered to focus on how to promote the language
“For the 15 months and more I have been here, I have been able to meet many very qualified people who should be working with international organizations but it was impossible because of the language. Most of the Ugandans that are young are trying to get opportunities and these could go to Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda to make a living. This country has smart people that travel across the globe”. He added.
He also noted that the government said they are not capable of meeting all the costs of teaching French and that they had a comprehensive discussion on the above matter and it is one of the reasons they are embarking on strengthening the universities.
Jules- Armand also revealed that in 2045 the French language will be the second spoken in the world.
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“We have signed with Bonjour Kampala, Alliance Francaise de Kampala (AFK) among others. This is the beginning and I want to see our partners and over the weekend I was in Gulu and should also consider the eastern part of Uganda. I would love to highlight the importance of the university because for any country to develop we need open minded elites. My predecessor opened the embassy and residence to the people since we are here to work and improve the relationship based on mutual respect” .he explained.
Prof. Joy. C Kwesiga, the Vice Chancellor Kabale University in her remarks said that recently the team came to Kabale, and they were happy as a university for the assistance that was timely after four years of receiving government status.
She promised that they are going to deliver and are harnessing the fact that they are tips for those heading to Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma to seek for opportunities.
The deputy principal Makerere University Business School Prof. Mark Muhwezi explained that they have been part of this arrangement for a long time with over 1,500 students doing French out of the 20, 000 students and they are to further the advancement.
Dr. Elizabeth Kyazike, the dean of faculty of arts and social sciences emphasized that as an archaeologists every document needs to be translated in French and after this they shall not use Google translator any more, adding that it was a good step though they have a challenge of staff since one needs to have a masters degree to teach the language.
On behalf of Makerere University Associate Prof. Edith Natukunda Togboa, the acting dean of languages, literature and communication remarked that in 2014 they celebrated 50 years of teaching French in Uganda, noting that the project is coming to add on the good things they have had with the embassy such as networks, trainings and links.She however expressed her dismay about the declining trends of French in schools like Buddo yet they bore some of the professors teaching the language and urged them to go beyond being teachers but also advocates of the French at all levels.