Gabon to back English language, following Rwandan example
- Gabon's President Ali Bongo wants to boost the use of English in his country, a former colony of France where French is widely spoken, his spokesman said Monday.
Bongo is to go to Rwanda from Friday to Saturday to study at first hand its experience with bilingualism.
"Gabon wants to look closely at Rwanda's experience with the introduction of bilingualism," Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nzesai said.
"Rwanda used to be a French-speaking country and part of the Francophonie (French-speaking international community)," he said. "Today it is part of two communities: the Francophonie and the Commonwealth."
"The president of Gabon plans to introduce English into our country," he added. "If the Rwandan experience is conclusive why should we not draw inspiration from such an experience to see how Gabon, a French-speaking country, could in the years ahead decide to introduce English in the first instance as a necessary working language?"
Later on it could be seen how it might become a second language.