La Francophonie groups together all territories and people that use French as a common language – whether as their mother tongue, an administrative language or a cultural language. French is spoken by more than 274 million people and remains the second most-studied foreign language in the world.
It was in Niger in 1970 that the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique was founded, paving the way for the creation of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) in 2005.
The IOF encourages exchanges between government and civil society representatives in French-speaking countries. It has 54 member, 27 observer and 7 associate states. Its core values are anchored in the charter of La Francophonie, which was adopted at the 1997 Francophonie Summit in Vietnam and completed in 2005 in Madagascar. The charter upholds solidarity, peace, democracy, sustainable development and the rule of law in French-speaking countries.
The Yerevan summit, which took place on 11 and 12 October 2018 in Armenia, reaffirmed these values in its declaration and the various resolutions that were adopted by all of the member states. The IOF also works to protect women's rights and has adopted a gender equality strategy for la Francophonie as well as the 'Living Together' document, which sets out and reinforces the principles of solidarity between people and underlines the importance and richness of living together in diversity.
In order to reach its goals, the IOF is divided into four bodies:
The IOF works with four specialised agencies
Universities in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the EPFL, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland and other educational institutes are members of the AUF. The State Secretariat for Education and Research has made financial contributions to the AUF since 1998 and Switzerland has a seat on the agency's board.
Switzerland was a co-founder of this French-language TV channel created in 1984. TV5MONDE programmes are broadcast to more than 200 countries in 11 different languages.
The AIMF is a network of local authorities which implements projects within the framework of a shared system of values.
Switzerland has a seat on the board of this institute based in Alexandria, Egypt, which trains African development experts.
The Senghor University (fr)
Last update 26.01.2022
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