Nigeria – France Interplay : The Importance of French for National Development

The 2nd round of the Plenary Session of the 2015 UFTAN Conference held on Mercredi 11 novembre, de 16 à 18h. The discussions hovered around the importance of French to Nigeria’s development. 

IMG_20151127_230937Prof. Rauf ADEBISI a parlé de l’importance du théâtre pour les études françaises au Nigéria. Trop d’accent est mis par les chercheurs et les enseignants sur le roman. Diversifier, trouver de nouveaux domaines d’études dans les autres genres, à savoir le théâtre, la poésie et autres genres mineurs tels que le conte.

Prof Remi RAJI-OYELADE, Dept of English, University of Ibadan, talked about the importance of France to the survival of Nigeria. The disunity in Africa is responsible for the vote pattern in Africa whereby Francophone countries vote according to the recommendations of France. He noticed that during the election in London to determine whether Palestine should be admitted to PEN (The Poet, Editors and Novelists) Body.
New generation of Nigerians should learn French. Critics would gain in the aspect of theory by realising what is overlooked. Much of modern literary theories came from France and Germany. He salutes the French Thought for producing theories such as Deconstruction and Post-structuralism which he used to study Yoruba proverbs in Germany.

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ppProf. Francis Egbokhare (Dept. of Linguistics, University of Ibadan; Ex-Director of Distance Learning Centre, UI) encouraged the widening of the circle of knowledge, that is, using all aspects of French Studies (philosophy, tourism, technology, language, etc,), to find ways to make knowledge available beyond the elite. You must be visible. French should be a language of literary for everyone. We should create an academic collective, using technology to create an open society with open resources (which is the focus of My French World, emphasis mine)

Reactions:
IMG_20151110_111125.jpgProf. Amosu (Lagos State University) asserted that the Francophone should not be blamed for their dependence and support of French policies against Nigerian interests. If we want to draw them closer to us, we should make efforts to speak French. We should acknowledge that the Francophone put more efforts in speaking English.
Prof R. A. Adebisi (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria & Director of Nigeria French Language Village): Francophone countries are enthusiastic about partnering with Nigeria, but for the lackadaisical attitudes of Nigerians towards the French language puts them off in what they perceive as arrogance and pride from Nigerians

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