An announcement by Foreign Affairs Ministry that government intends to designate French as an official second language, has ruffled a few feathers. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says the choice to assign French as a second official language is a noteworthy action of the Ghanaian government, in accordance with national priorities. She further reiterated that plans by government to incorporate the advancement of the learning of French in fundamental schools and over every other dimension of learning, as a component of a general change of Ghana's educational sector.
The significance of correspondence and communication is frequently neglected and overlooked. The ability to communicate in multiple languages is becoming more and more important in the increasingly integrated global business community.
In excess of 90 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana. English is the nation's primary official language which was inherited from the colonial era and permeates all government and business undertakings. It is likewise the standard language utilized for instructive guidance (teaching). However despite that colonially out of the native dialects in Ghana, Akan is the most broadly spoken.
"Considering French as the nation's official second language is a laudable one". Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey was addressing the opening session of the 2019 La Francophonie week in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, themed “Say it in French…please”. A move, according to Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, marked the start of a historical process, aimed at improving regional integration through the development of the French language across the country. Of all languages in the world, English and French are the most widely spoken and the most widely used in business and economic engagements. Firstly, French as a language gives us access to a lot of people and advancement opportunities in uncertain economic times.
Furthermore, the issue of the choice of a national language should be greatly influenced by the orientation and geographical location of the people. “We believe that the extensive teaching and learning of French will inure to the benefit of Ghana as we are bordered by three Francophone countries; namely, Togo, Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire”, the Foreign Minister stressed in the meeting. Ghana is surrounded by francophone countries to the North, East, West; Burkina Faso, La Cote d’Ivoire and Togo respectively. So, it is only valid that choose French in order to aid customs and immigration opportunities. When it comes to traveling, these countries are the first point of contact and it is only a good access opportunity for us to interact in their language. As opposed to any of our local dialects, which are not viable for international relations and corporations.
One of the many ways to boost our economy is proper communication and since French is arguably the second most used language in the world, Ghana should adopt it as its second national language. The objectives of this course include the promotion of peace and good governance, support for education, training and research, and promotion of the French language, values the Hon. Foreign Minister is convinced is equally espoused by Ghana.