La Francophonie Summit opens in Yerevan

Heads of State and Government of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) member countries Thursday began the 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia.

The summit follows a two day meeting of the ministerial council which was preceded by a technical summit.

At the summit, the Heads of State and Government will discuss key aspects in line with the organisation’s mandate including promoting peace, democracy and human rights and supporting education, training, higher education and scientific research among member countries.

A highlight of the summit is the election of the organisation’s next Secretary General where Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo is up against incumbent Jean Michaëlle a Canadian of Haitian Origin.

So far all indicators are in favour of Mushikiwabo winning the election by an overwhelming majority considering that Canada, Michaëlle’s home country on Tuesday endorsed Mushikiwabo.

Mushikiwabo also has a unanimous backing of the African Union.

In his opening remarks on Thursday morning, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his support for Mushikiwabo, whom she had endorsed back in May this year.

Out of the 84 member states of the organization, 54 have voting rights with 30 of them being African countries.

President Paul Kagame who is in Yerevan for the Summit, is expected to address the summit.

The organization was created in 1970 to promote the French language, peace, and sustainable development with Rwanda as a founding member.

La Francophonie’s 84 member States and Observers represent over one-third of UN Members States and account for a population of over 900 million people, including 274 million French speakers.