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African Francophone countries urges Macron to launch French language mission

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France’s President Emmanuel Macron has embarked on an ambitious mission to extend the international influence of the French language, which he sees as key to boosting France’s presence on the world stage.

There are some 274 million French speakers worldwide, making it the fifth most widely spoken language and the fourth most used language on the internet, according to the Francophonie organisation of French-speaking countries.

Africa is home to the world’s biggest French-speaking population, with 31 of the continent’s 54 nations having French as an official language, a legacy of French and Belgian colonial power.

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Celebrating International Francophonie Day, President Macron said he wants to double the number of students enrolled in international French secondary schools. Currently 350,000 pupils are taught at 500 such institutions internationally.

The French president also complained that the English language is too dominant in European Union institutions, despite the fact that Britain will soon exit the regional body.

“This domination is not inevitable. It’s up to us to set some rules, to be present, and make French the language with whom one has access to a number of opportunities,” Macron said, quoting Europe’s relationship with French-speaking Africa.

Macron, who, unlike most previous French leaders often speaks in English in public when abroad, said this was not a move against the use of English but one to promote multilingualism.

French-Moroccan novelist Leïla Slimani will lead the campaign to internationalise French, although other francophone African writers have reportedly snubbed the campaign.

Congolese author Alain Mabanckou, Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe and French-Djiboutian scholar Abdourahman Waberi have been reported to have expressed concerns about the need for France to renounce colonialism before they can endorse such a campaign.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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– Vanguard

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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