The Cultural and Cooperation Service of the Embassy of France to Botswana, as a local link for the French cooperation institutions, aims at developing the relations between France and Botswana in the fields of French language teaching, culture, higher education and research. In this regard, it is the main interlocutor for French institutions and organisms which wish to undertake actions in the above mentioned fields with Batswana partners, and plays indeed a role of information, mediation and coordination. In Botswana, middle-income status country, the action of the SCAC is in keeping with the French policy of solidarity with developing countries, and follows the following principles and objectives: defence of language and cultural diversities, promotion of French tertiary education and research, quality cultural offer, solidarity with minorities. The resources of the SCAC are varied: short and long-term scholarships, expertise missions, invitation to France of our Batswana partners, training programmes, organisation of workshops and conferences, subventions to local cultural operators. Gaborone hosting the SADC Secretariat, the SCAC also manages the French cooperation with the regional organization, and the Ambassador is also Special Representative to SADC. Since 2009, the SCAC has been organizing high level thematic seminars on regional integration in Southern Africa, in collaboration with various partners.
Promotion of French language in Botswana
The French Government has endeavoured to respond to the request of the Government of Botswana to implement and develop the teaching and learning of French language throughout the country. This is to enable Botswana to be heard and communicate throughout the African continent on which next to half of the States have French as their official language. On a wider scale, French being the worldwide language of diplomacy, one of the main working languages within most international organizations (such as the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and SADC) and a very important language for business, the promotion of the French language in the country would provide Botswana with enhanced opportunities for international development. One of the main ambitions of this programme is to gradually generalize the teaching of French throughout secondary education. The Embassy of France first and foremost assists to ensure of the quality of teachers’ training. The French embassy also assists with all other pedagogical, practical and technical aspects of the project (continuing education, curriculum development, inspectorate, assessment, examinations, planning…) when requested. The Embassy of France also supports French courses to the benefit of the staff within interested administrations (including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police forces, the Army). The Embassy of France also assists, along with the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF), in promoting French language within SADC. Another important aspect of our action is our cooperation with local associations working for the promotion of French language and the cultures of French-speaking countries, most importantly with the Alliance Française of Gaborone who, though a local and independent association, benefits from the unyielding support of the French Government.