Cross-cultural themes and the challenges of multilingualism and translation, online a case study of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s “Dialogue of Cultures”
AKINWANDE Peter Olakunle
Senior Lecturer (Comparative French & Francophone Literatures)
Department of European Languages
University of Lagos
P. O. Box 1063, thumb Ebute-Meta Post Office, recipe Lagos (Nigeria)
Themes of literary discourse or political debate relating to cultural hybrid or complementarity of cultures must reflect the diverse geopolitical landscapes and idiosyncrasies of the authors and peoples or races under study. Hence the inevitability of the use of multilingual approaches and devices that invariably engenders the participation of professional translators and interpreters especially for conference presentation or for wider dissemination at multiracial fora. This paper seeks to underscore the necessity of translation and interpretation as indispensable tools for actualizing the multilingual frame of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s politico-philosophical vision of a universal French cultural family tagged “Francophonie”, and which is the theme of the first black French Academician’s fifth and last philosophical essay :LeDialogue de Cultures (Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1993).
The linguistic imperative of adoption of translation and interpretation as practical devices for encouraging the participation of non-French member Nations, such as Ghana that became an Associate Member of Francophonie in 2006, and further fortifying the rapidly expanding “French Commonwealth of Nations”, we seek to impress on the International Organization of Francophonie(OIF) and its annual Conference of Heads of State and Government of Countries that are partially or fully French-speaking, the world over, as a viable option for assuaging the feelings of non-European Francophone peoples in Canada-Québec, French Caribbean’s and Sub-Saharan Africa who have over the years decried what Jean-Marc Léger (Montréalais), former Québécois General Commissioner for Francophonie, founding Secretary General of AUPELF and first Secretary General of ACCT described in his Foreword to Michel Tétu’s famous book : La Francophonie: Histoire, Problématique et Perspectives (Hachette, Montréal, 1988), as : “ … la diffusion constante d’un seulmodèle socio-culturel, par le risquemortel de l’uniformisation, négation de l’universel …” ( … the constant dissemination of one single socio-cultural model, and the deadly risk of uniformity, a negation of universality … ).
Key Words: “cross-cultural themes”; “challenges”; “multilingualism”; “translation”; “dialogue of cultures”

“Le Dialogue des cultures”, the title of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s fifth philosophical essay published by Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1993, has over the years dilated discourse on the theme of “Cultural diversity” or “Complementarity of cultures”, thus promoting the advocacy of the Francophonie, the rapidly expanding “French Commonwealth of Nations”, which has since its first “Summit of Heads of State and government of countries that are fully or partially French-speaking” held in Paris in February 1986, become the second largest linguistic bloc after the British Commonwealth.
Concerning the key words in the topic,suffice it to say that “Cross-cultural themes” are themes or subjects that cut across cultures, or are multi-racial in outlook or in scope. “Challenges” are grey areas that need to be clarified. “Multilingualism” has to do with the usage of three or more languages in disseminating information at a multiracial gathering or forum. “Translation” and its twin sister “Interpretation” are the tools for effecting multilingual dissemination of information at international fora. And “dialogue of cultures” is an expression that has been popularized since the middle of the 20th century by the Senegalese poet, Léopold Sédar Senghor, to express what has become known as the philosophy of cultural hybrid tagged “métissageculturel”.
Senghor’s “dialogue of cultures”, a pacifist call for collaboration
“Dialogue of cultures” is the philosophical concept by which Léopold Sédar Senghor, elected first president of independent Senegal (1960-1980), and first Black man to be elected into the prestigious French Academy in 1983, propagates his multi-racial philosophy of cultural hybrid known as“métissageculturel” or “Complémentarité de Cultures” by fusing together the humanism of Négritude described as a rediscovery of the dignity and the personality of the Black man all over the world, and the technology of Francophonie, known simply as a nascent,post-colonial, French cultural family spread across the globe. Explaining the seeming harmony of Négritude and Francophonie, two linguistico-cultural concepts that were opposing prior to the decolonization years (1944-1958), in the introduction to his fifth essay titled: Liberté V: Le Dialogue des cultures (Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1993), Léopold Sédar Senghor says:
Ce n’est pas hasard non plus si je les ai intitule “Le Dialogue des Cultures ». C’est
que le dialogue est l’un des instruments de la Civilisation de l’Universel, dont la
Négritude n’est qu’un aspect : le premier et le dernier en même temps, comme

(It is not mere accident either if I title them « Dialogue of cultures ». The fact is
that dialogue is one of the tools of the Universal Civilization, of which Negritude
is one aspect: the first and the last at the same time, as I have shown elsewhere)

AiméCésaire, French poet and deputy-mayor of Martinique, who invented the word “Négritude” in an article titled “Négrérie”, published in 1935 in the Etudiant noir literary journal he co-foundedwith Senghor and Damasin the Quartier Latin district of Paris, had also in this early article enunciated his own vision of cultural hybrid tagged “Le Rendez-vous du donner et du recevoir”, a radical protest by the new crop of Negro-African, intellectual youths in Paris against the oppressive French colonial policy of Assimilation, in clear terms :

… C’est pourquoi la Jeunesse noire tourne le dos à la tribu des Vieux. La tribu
des Vieux dit : Assimilation. Nous répondons Résurrection. La Jeunesse noire
veut agir et créer, elle veut avoir ses poètes, ses romanciers qui lui diront à elle
ses malheurs à elle et ses grandeurs à elle : elle veut contribuer à la vie univer-
selle, à l’humanisation de l’Humanité …1

(… That’s why the black Youth turns its back to the club of the Elders. The Elder’s
clubsays: Assimilation. We say in responseResurrection. The black Youth wants
to act and invent, it wants to have its poets, its novelists who will say to its face
its own misfortunes and its own achievements: it wants to contribute to
universallife, to the humanization of Humanity)

The contribution of Léon-GontranDamas, the Guyanese poet who together with AiméCésaire represent the radical arm of the anti-assimilation Négritude protest of the pre-Second World War years, to the rapprochement and reconciliation that paved way for the emergence of a full-blown, universal Francophonie during the decolonization years, cannot be over-emphasized. The extreme dehumanization and acculturation to which the Caribbean peoples were subjected under French colonization, amply demonstrated in Frantz Fanon’s Peau noire, masques blancs (1952), explains the aggressive tone of Césairian and Damasianpoetry which contrasted sharply with Senghor’s rather conciliatory “pardon”.For example, Léon-GontranDamas’ two leading masterpieces, Pigments (1937, poetry) and Retour de Guyane(1938, prose)were officially banned in Paris, while the colonial administration in his native Guyane bought all available copies of the prose and burnt them.

In his spontaneous reaction to the news of the death of Léon-GontranDamas in an American hospital in 1978, Léopold Sédar Senghor says of his comrade in arms and author of the first major Négritude collection of poems titled Pigmentspublished in 1937: “Saluons-le comme un prophète du monde nouveau, de ceXXIe siècle où, dansune civilization enfinréconciliée avec l’homme, le Nègreoccuperasa place: au coeur de la vie, de la beauté”2 (We salute him as a prophet of the new world, of this 21st century where, in a civilization that is finally reconciled with mankind, the Negro will take his place: in the center of life,  of beauty). And Léopold Sédar Senghor, the leading founding father of Francophonie went further to say in that tribute published along with others by PrésenceAfricaine in the book,Hommageposthume à Léon-GontranDamas (PrésenceAfricaine, Paris, 1979):
Des “trois mousquetaires” que nous étions, Léon Damas, Aimé Césaire et moi-
même, c’est Léon Damas qui, le premier, illustra la négritude par un recueil de
poèmes qui portait, significativement, le titre de Pigments. Car cette poésie
conservait toutes les qualités de l’œuvre nègre : images symboliques et
rythmes faits de parallélismes asymétriques, mais encore humour. Cet humour
nègre, point noir, car réaction et revanche du réel : la vie

(Of the « three musketers » that we were, Léon Damas, AiméCésaire and
myself, it’s Léon Damas, the first to announce négritude with a collection of
poems that carried, appropriately, the title of Pigments. Because that poetry
conserves all the qualities of black art: symbolic images and rhythm made of
asymmetrical parallelisms, but also humor. The black humor, black mark,
being reaction and other side of the real: life)

Interplay of Negro-African and French Western cultures

And so,La Civilisation de l’Universel(Universal Civilization) which Senghor uses as a synonym forFrancophonie in his third essay, Liberté III: Négritude et Civilisation de l’Universel (Ed. Du Seuil, Paris, 1977, 274), as well as the introduction to hisfifthessay,Liberté V: Le Dialogue des cultures, (Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1993)quotedabove, has Négritude as an integralresource, an interpretationthatinforms Michel Tétu’sdefinition of Négritude as “la Francophonie en actes” (Francophonie in action) in hisfamous book: La Francophonie: Histoire, Problématique et Perspectives (Ed. Hachette, Montréal, 1988, 64). What precisely are these two cultural terms, “Négritude” and “Francophonie”which have attracted both applause and criticism from Europe and Africa, especially Léopold Sédar Senghor’s conscious effort to relegate Africa’s indigenous languages for Frenchdominance and implicitly submerge Africa’s cultural values to French western culture?

Carry Phillips, writing from the United States, in his article: “Truth and Reconciliation, Three essays from Soyinka on negritude” (New York Company, 17/1/1999), describes Léopold Sédar Senghor as: “replacing his affection for negritude by an attachment vigorously expressed in favour of cultural hybrid, in which case French culture is an apotheosis of human civilization”. This seeming incongruityin Senghor’s cultural conviction has further attracted the ire of Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate (1986), and current President of “SociétéAfricaine de Culture” with headquarters in Paris, in his book, the Burden of Memory and the Muse of Forgiveness (New York: Oxford University, 1999, 33-44). The renowned poet, novelist and playwrightis amazed by the humanism of Senegalese-born, Father of Negritude which he describes as being “closely attached to European culture, more precisely French culture”, wondering about the “cultural conviction“ of poet-president Senghor in favour of France, and not Africa, a debacle that is noticeable in Senghor’s 90th birthday anniversary speech read in Verson (France) in 1996, an event that Soyinka attended.
Négritude, the humanistic philosophy which is the central theme of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s first major essay: Liberté I: Négritudeethumanisme(Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1964), has been defined in diverse ways by its leading proponents – Léopold Sédar Senghor, AiméCésaire et Léon-GontranDamas. Senghor defined Négritudefirst as “L’ensemble des valeursculturelles du monde noir”3(The totality of the cultural values of the black world), and again as « L’ensemble des valeurs – économiques et politiques, intellectuelles et morales, artistiques et sociales – non seulement des peuplesd’Afrique noire mais encore des minoritésnoiresd’Afrique, voired’Asie et d’Océanie »4(The totality of the values – economic and political, intellectual and moral, artistic and social – not only of peoples from black Africa but also of black minorities in Africa, even from Asia and Oceania).

AiméCésaire, the great pan Africanist, and author of two famous masterpieces, Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1939, poetry) and Discourssur le colonialisme (1955, essay), defined Négritude simply as: « La simple reconnaissance du fait d’être noir, et l’acceptation de ce fait, de notredestin de noir, de notre histoire et de notre culture »5 (The simple recognition of the fact of being black, and the acceptance of that fact, of our black identity, of our history and of our culture), and later as: “La conscience d’être noir, simple reconnaissance d’un fait, qui implique acceptation, priseen charge de son destin de noir, de son histoire et de sa culture”6(The consciousness of being black, simple recognition of that fact, which implies acceptance, taking into one’s hand of his black identity, of his history and of his culture).

In an interview published by JeuneAfriquehebdomadaire, edition of 16th March 1971, Léon-GontranDamas, who had also served as deputy representing Guyane in the French National Assembly (1948-1951) defined Négritude as : “La découverte des valeursnoires et la prise de conscience par le Nègre de sa sitiation”7 (The discovery of black values and a consciousness by the Negro of his situation), even as he had described the movement as : “Un instrument de combat culturel le plus efficace pour le Noir à l’époquecoloniale” (A most effective  weapon of cultural warfare for the black Man in the colonial era).

Francophonie,on the other hand, was first defined by Onésime Reclus, 19th century French geographer who invented the word,in his book, France, Algérie et colonies (1880), as: “ayant rapport aux populations et aux pays qui à divers titresutilisent la langue française” (having to do with populations and countries which in diverse ways use French language), butwas given a cultural connotation when defined by Xavier Deniau, French parliamentarian, as “les liensprivilégiés entre les hommes et les peoples de langue française”8 (the privileged links between men and peoples of French language), after it had been presented as a humanistic philosophy by Léopold Sédar Senghor in an article: “Le Français, langue de culture”, published in a special edition of Esprit journal in November 1962, as :  L’Humanisme integral qui se tisseautour de la terre; la symbiose des énergiesdormantes de tous les continents, de toutes les races, qui se réveillent à leurchaleurcomplémentaire” (Integral humanism which revolves around the earth, the symbiosis of dormant energies  of all continents, of all races, that wake up with complementary heat).

Quite naturally, the powers that be in metropolitan France were full of praises for Léopold Sédar Senghor’s endorsement of their culture as the best of cultures, as his definition of Francophonie above indicates, and that appropriately situates president Jacques Chirac’s tribute read at the International Colloquium of Université Paris 13, Villetaneuse, held in honour of Senghor (May 29-30, 2000), published in Léopold Sédar Senghor: Africanité-Universalité (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2001), the great Man of Culture known for having voted no less than 33% of Senegalese annual budget to Education and Culture throughout his 20-year presidency in Dakar.Incumbent French president Chirac who was statutorily President of the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie, ably assisted by poet-president Senghor as Vice-President of the Haut Conseil, described the black poet’s 21st century vision of cultural hybrid as: “cet extraordinaire et permanent souci de combiner la raison et le rythme, la logique et l’intuition, l’enracinement et le mouvement, pour créer le meilleur des cultures, danslequelils’est tout entierimmergé et qu’il a souhaité faire partager » (this extraordinary and permanent concern for combining reason and rythm, logic and intuition, tradition and change, in order to create the best of cultures, a project he has totally plunged himself into and thathe wished to share with others).

Francophonie and the National Language Question

Why do leaders of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) insist on implementing just the first segment of theprimary objective set out for the multiracial body by its founding fathers, which is: “… la promotion de la langue française et de la diversitéculturelle et linguistiqued’une part, et le respect des droits de l’homme d’autre part”9 (… promotion of French language and of cultural and linguistic diversity on the one hand, and observance of human rights on the other hand)? Evidently, usage of French language alone as the medium of communication for the 76-nation body negates the principle of cultural and linguistic diversity.

Why don’t the Secretary General and the Conference of Heads of State and government of the Francophonie Institutionnelle that came into being with the inauguration of the Agence de cooperation culturelle et technique (ACCT) on 20th March 1970 in Niamey, Niger Republic, modify the primary objective of the universal cultural family to read: “… la promotion de la langue française et d’autreslanguesnationalescodifiées des Etatsmembres, et par là, de la diversitéculturelle et linguistiqued’une part, et le respect des droits de l’homme d’autre part”
(… Promotion of French language and other standardized national languages of member States, and implicitly of cultural and linguistic diversity on the one hand, and observance of human rights on the other hand). This is the only practical way of assuaging the feelings of diverse francophone peoples across the five continents, and even prospective member-nations from other major linguistic blocs, who would want their national cultural identities reflected in Francophonie programmes such as the Francophone Summits, Francophonie games, and the annual Francophonie week celebrations, etc., through the use of their regional or sub-regional lingua franca.

Standardization of leading indigenous languages referred to above, an issue that should be given priority attention by the governments of the countries concerned, would serve as response to the problematic raised by S.-M. EnoBelinga, concerning the neglect and retardation suffered by indigenous languages especially in francophone Africa.In his book, Comprendre la littératureoraleafricaine (Ed. Saint-Paul, Paris, 1978, 50), the Congolese writer calls for urgent action on the African language question which he describes as « une science jeune et enpleinessor » (a science that is young and full-blown), desirous of “répondre à toutes les questionsposées par les langues, le langage et la littératureorale de l’Afrique” (responding to all the questions raised concerning the languages, language acquisition and oral literature of Africa).

The retardation of most indigenous languages in francophone Africa most of which face imminent extinction in the decades ahead if the prevailing ugly trend is not reversed, has been attributed by most of the younger generation of contemporary African writers to the first generation of Presidents of independent Nations who, having imbibed French culture so much, consciously excluded indigenous languages (Wolof, Serer, Sango, Baoulé, Bété, Goun, Swahili, etc., ) from the curriculum of study in their various schools. And the one held most responsible for this linguistic lapse is none other than the first Senegalese President (1960-1980),first African“Agrégé de l’Université”, and first black “Académicien”, Léopold Sédar Senghor whose excessive love for French, a colonial languagewhich he once described as “trèsdélicieusecomme de la confiture” (very delicious like jam),is beyond expression.

Senghor further described French language as: “ … par excellence, une langue de communication: une langue de gentillesse et d’honneteté, c’est-à-dire de clartéparceque de rigueur” (… per excellence a language of communication, a language of gracefulness and integrity, that is to say, of clarity, being of rigour), and “une langue qui nous permetd’accéder aux cimes les plus élevées de la conscience universelle” (alanguage that enables us to attain the greatest heights of universal consciousness), in his third philosophical essay, Liberté III: Négritude et Civilization de l’Universel (Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1977, 19, 183).

And the foremostspecialist in French grammar, Léopold Sédar Senghor,had in unmistakabletermsexpressedhispreference for French as againstindigenousAfricanlanguages in an article titled: “Le problème des langues vernaculaires ou le bilinguisme comme solution”, published in a magazine, Hebdomadaire Afrique nouvelle of 3rdJanuary 1958, as follows: “La langue n’est pas forcément liée à la race, … tout homme, tout enfant est apte à apprendre n’importe quelle langue, às’y exprimer aussi bien que les hommes de la race qui a forgé la langue …”.(Language is not necessarily linked to race … every man, every child is inclined to learn any language, to express himself in it as well as people of the race that produced the language …). And Léopold Sédar Senghor, French poet and grammarian says further:

Dans le choix de la langue, la question n’est pas de savoir si la langue de l’en-
seignement sera autochtone ou non, mais quelle elle sera. En d’autres termes,
il s’agit de choisir une langue pour ses vertus propres : ses vertus d’éducation.
De ce point de vue, « la langue de gentillesse et d’honnêteté » qu’est le

(In the choice of language, the question is not knowing if the language of
instruction should be native or not, but what it is worth. In other words, it’s a
question of choosing a language for its own virtues: its virtues of education.
 In this respect, “the language of gracefulness and of integrity” which is
                Frenchcomes tops)

LilyanKesteloot, renowned literary critic whom president Léopold Sédar Senghor appointed professor and assigned to set up a “department of African literature and civilization as well as a library for oral texts”, at IFAN, University of Dakar, in the 1970s, alluded, while speaking as Guest Lecturer at the weekly doctoral seminar of comparative francophone literatures of Université Paris XII, Créteil, on 16th November, 2006, to the ambiguity in Senghor’s cultural posture, evident, according to the Belgian writer, when in the course of a conversation she had with the Senegalese-born French poet, she stressed the urgency of the teaching of African languages in schools and universities. The Belgian writer born in Congo says : “Il m’aditqu’iln’était pas convaincuque la littératureafricaineaurait un avenir, bienquesachantque la littératureoraleafricaineavait un bel avenir”10 (He told me he was not convinced that African literature would have a future, even though he knew that oral African literature had a bright future).

Far back in 1988, Jean-Marc Léger (Montréalais), Commissairegénéral de la Francophonie (Québec), first Secrétairegénéral of AUPELF and ACCT, and former Editor in chief of LeDevoir newspaper cried aloud against the linguistico-cultural disproportionality in the organization of the Francophonie. In hisForeword to Michel Tétu’s book: La Francophonie: Histoire, Problématique et Perspectives (Ed. Hachette, Montréal, 1988, 12), the renownedwritersays :

Mon inquiétude est à la mesure de l’ampleur de la tâche à accomplir, des périls
qui montent du retard que nous avons pris, collectivement … La langue française
est menacée tout comme les cultures représentées au sein de notre communauté
se trouvent mises en  cause par la diffusion constante d’un seul modèle socio-
culturel, par le risque mortel de l’uniformisation, négation de l’universel
(My concern is about the magnitude of the task ahead, about the increasing
dangers regarding our late actions … French language is threatened just as the
cultures represented within our community are being questioned by the constant
dissemination of one single socio-cultural model, by the deadly risk of uniformity,
a negation of universality …)

In like manner, the Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, had in his speech read at the first Francophone Summit of 1986, pleaded the cause of the diverse peoples of the Francophone world whose aspirations constitute the major issue for discussion at the Francophonie. He said inter alia: “La Francophonie, c’est d’abord et avant tout des hommes, des femmes, des jeunes. Elle impose de garder à l’esprit leurs aspirations et leurs rêves, et d’apporter réponse à leurs besoins fondamentaux » (Francophonie is first and foremost about men, about women, about young people. It compels us to keep in mind their aspirations and their dreams and to bring answers to their basic, essential needs).

And Michel Tétu, in his book, La Francophonie: Histoire, Problématique et Perspectives (Ed. Hachette, Montréal, 1988, 199), quotes Jacques Rabemananjara (Malgache), writer, and Ali Moindjie (Comorian), journalist, bothcondemning the omnipresence of French in the francophone family. Rabemananjara says : “La langue française a été un objet de répulsion tant qu’elle représentait une langue de domination” (French language has been an object of repulsion for son long as itrepresented a language of domination). But Ali Moindjie, sounding bitter in his article in Le Devoirnewspaper of 21st June 1986, says: « Le Français est un instrument de pouvoir dont se sert une élite pour tenir à l’écart la population dont il détruit les particularismes et provoque une certaine uniformisation » (French is an instrument of power used by the elite to keep at bay the populace whosepeculiarities are destroyed, and itengenderssome mesure of uniformity), adding : « La francophonie serait un espace qui laisserait s’affirmer le polymorphisme des peuples, un carrefour où se rencontreraient les particularités pour s’enrichir mutuellement. Hélas ! Entre les discours et la réalité, il y a un fossé : Le français tue nos langues » (Francophonie shouldbeaspacethatwouldallow for free expression of peoples diverse voices, a cross-road wherepeculiaritieswouldmeetto mutuallyenrich one another. But! Between speeches and reality, there is a wide gulf: French is killing our languages).

Translation, a sine qua non  for multiracial dialogue

What path should the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) thread, atits new headquarter: “La Maison de la Francophonie, nouveau siege de l’OIF” (housing all its personnel), in Avenue Bosquet (7e arr.), Paris, that was officially declared open on 20th March 2010 by President Nicolas Sarkozy and OIF Secretary general, AbdouDiouf, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the birth of Francophonie?. What else is there for the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) other than multilingualism as a policy, as well as translation and its twin sister, interpretation, as mode of mass dissemination of information at a multi-racial gathering?

What has multilingualism got to do with the Francophonie, the ‘French Commonwealth of Nations’ comprising of more than seventy nations? Critics and researchers on culture and particularly inter-cultural themes that Francophonie represents, opine that since cultural identity and cultural conflict are inextricably associated with the universal French cultural phenomenon tagged ‘Francophonie’, multilingualism, is a sine-qua-non which the Conference of Heads of State of this second largest club of nations, next to the British Commonwealth, must accept as inevitable, in order for the body to be fully relevant in the 21st century.

Multilingualism as a linguistic policy implies adoption of three or more languages for use as languages of instruction in a state or authorized mode of expression at organized fora (conferences or debates). For example, the twenty-seven member-nations of the European Union, including France, adopted a policy in 2009 that their children should learn three languages in school – the modern tongue and two other languages of neighboring member states. France on her part resolved that her children should compulsorily learn French, English and one other language of the European Union right from the secondary school. 


With the multi-cultural and linguistic setting of activities of the Francophonie that have become daily occurrences, it is compelling that the French cultural family adopts a multilingual approach in its operations in order to effectively mobilize all segments of the society who would then feel a sense of belonging. Countries that are traditional members of the British Commonwealth, such as Ghana that is already an Associate Member of the Francophonie, will then feel comfortable, while others that are aspiring to come into the Francophonie, like Nigeria will be enthused.

Once the leadership of Francophonie decides to adopt multilingualism as a concept for executing its objective of cultural and linguistic diversity, it simply has to choose some regional or sub-regional lingual Franca, at least two in Francophone Africa (say 1 in Central Africa, and 1 in West Africa) with standardized registers (science, computer technology, technical, literary, etc.) to adopt along with French as official working languages of the Francophonie. It also has to train translators and interpreters in these languages. At the same time, the teaching of the new languages of the Francophonie should be intensified and budgeted for in all the regions or sub-regions where the languages are spoken, and with supplementary funding from the OIF headquarters in Paris.
Brief Biography of Author

Dr. Peter Olakunle AKINWANDE is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative French & Francophone Literatures at the University of Lagos. Author of Négritudeet Francophonie, paradoxes culturels et politiques (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2011, 325 pages),Littérature Française et Divergence Culturelle (Pierro Publication Bureau, Lagos, 2013, 242 pages), and L’Afrique francophone, de 1444 à nos Jours (Pierro Communication Bureau, Abeokuta, 2004, 121 pages), and several articles published in peerjournals, heobtained a Ph.D (Doctorat-Lettres, Nouveau Régime) in Comparative Francophone Literatures, from  Université Paris Est (UPEC), France in 2009. A strong defender of the values of French Language and Culture, Pierre Akinwandeadvocates Nigeria’s future membership of the Francophonie, just like Ghana (since 2006), but premised on a linguistico-cultural exchange programme that will be mutually-beneficial to Nigeria, France and other francophone partners.
1. Cited in LilyanKesteloot’s book : Les écrivains noirs de langue française : naissance d’une
littérature (Ed. de l’Université de Bruxelles, 1977, 99-100)
2. Hommage posthume à Léon-Gontran Damas (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1979, 11)
3. Citedtwice by LilyanKesteloot in Les écrivains noirs de langue française, naissance d’une
littérature (Ed. de l’Université de Bruxelles, 1977, 110-111)
4. Léopold Sédar Senghor et la revue «Présence Africaine » (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1996,
5. Cited in LilyanKesteloot’sAnthologie négro-africaine (Marabout Université, Verviers, 1976,
6. LilyanKesteloot : Les écrivains noirs de langue française (Ed. Université de Bruxelles, 1977,
7. Alsocited in Léopold Sédar Senghor et la revue « Présence Africaine » (Présence Africaine,
Paris, 1996, 81)
8. La Francophonie (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1995, 3-8)
9. The declarationof of the Secrétaire général de la Francophonie, M. Abdou Diouf is
published in Directsoirnewspaper of 19th March 2010
10. Cited in Pierre Akinwande : Négritude et Francphonie, paradoxes culturelss et politiques
(L’Harmattan, Paris, 2011, 227)


Césaire, Aimé: Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1971 ; 1er édition, 1939)
Césaire, Aimé : Discours sur le colonialisme (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1955)
Damas, Léon-Gontran : Pigments (Guy Lévis Mano, 1937)
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