VP lauds Kenya, French relations

November 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has called for increased cooperation between Kenya and France in the fields of Culture and Education.

Mr Musyoka said there was need for the French Government to increase cooperation in the education sector by giving more scholarships to Kenyans to learn many foreign languages.

The VP made the remarks at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday evening, when he presided over celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Alliance

“I commend Alliance Francaise and the French Government for providing opportunities for Kenyans to learn French and also experience the French way of life through art, music and drama," said Mr Musyoka.

“This interaction has gone a long way to reinforce our mutual ties and cooperation for the benefit of our people," he added.

He said that the absence of a language that cuts across the entire continent is admittedly a contributing factor to the apparent slow pace of development.

He said there was need to strengthen local languages to enhance social identity.

“What we must do is to encourage multilingualism to enhance our competitive edge in the international job market as well as in global market," he added.

Mr Musyoka noted that the language barrier between the linguistic regions must therefore be bridged in order to boost intra-Africa trade and other bilateral and regional ties.

The VP said Kenya recognised the need to narrow the language gap with the rest of the continent and indeed the world and laid a solid foundation for the promotion of the French language way back in 1971 with the signing of the France-Kenya cultural cooperation agreement.

He said that the Government has made efforts to encourage learning of foreign languages in schools and colleges, saying that the biggest impediment was the acute shortage of teachers to teach foreign languages.

French Ambassador to Kenya Elisabeth Barbier hailed the cordial relations between Kenya and her country particularly in the fields of Culture and Education.

Present were Medical Services Minister Professor Anyang Nyong’o and the Executive Director Alliance Francaise de Nairobi Ms Helene Bekker among others.


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