Launch of Francophonie Festival 2015 [fr]
The 2015 Francophonie Festival was officially opened on Saturday 14 March 2015 at the Alliance Française de Pretoria. H.E. Ambassador Barbier attended the event as along with guests of honour singer Johnny Clegg and rugby player Philip van der Merwe.
Johnny Clegg has been a good friend of France for almost 3 decades and was bestowed the knight of the arts and letters award (chevalier des Arts & Lettres) in 1991 by the French government. He is a citizen of honor of the city of Angoulême, he has received medals of honor from 2 provinces, and has sold over 1,5 million albums in France.
Philip Van der Merwe will soon join Clermont-Ferrand in the Top 14 French Rugby Championship. He prepares to move to France by learning French at the AF.
The event started with welcome words by Jean-Jacques Cornish, president of the AF de Pretoria, followed with an allocution by Ambassador Barbier. The Ambassador of Madagascar, country to host the next 16th Francophonie Summit in 2016, and the High Commissioner of Canada, representing the new OIF’s Secretary General, also expressed their pleasure to take part in the festival.
All day, around 800 visitors got to explore cultural and food specialties of the 24 participating countries. There were also traditional dances by Cameroon, Bulgaria, Gabon and Congo. The French School choir performed some French songs. The event concluded with a performance by musician Nicolas Fraissinet, organized by the Embassy of Switzerland.
Check out the festival programme in Pretoria and in other South African cities
Read the Ambassador’s speech