23 September 2017

West Africa: 'Sub-Region Needs French to Enhance Bilateral Relations, Trade'

In order to achieve greater economic growth and development in the region, the Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Professor Akpan Ekpo has called on countries within the sub-region to embrace French Language as a tool needed to stimulate bilateral relations and international trade.

Ekpo who made this known while delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the e-learning certificate course in French Language, organised by WAIFEM in collaboration with African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), in Lagos explained that Nigeria and other Anglophone countries are sounded by French speaking countries.

He argued that countries in the sub-region need to study French Language to enhance effective communication in international trade activities.

Continuing, he said: "WAIFEM introduced this course in order to bridge the gap in understanding and speaking of French in West African regional integration process. The first run, which was a resounding success was conducted between July and November last year, in collaboration with United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Ghana".

"The French course is structured in a most effective and professional manner to meet the needs of the adult learners. It is designed to assist public and private sector officials in the Anglophone West Africa and beyond, to overcome the language barriers faced in commerce, banking, industry, tourism, journalism and other cross border activities, thereby promoting regional integration process. The course is also suitable for those who wish to compete favourably in the global economy, as the world has become a global village propelled by information and communication".

It is on record that since its inception, WAIFEM has successfully executed over 600 courses, workshops, seminars and missions. No fewer than 6,000 participants from the sub-region and beyond have benefited from the programmes.

To attain its set goals and objectives, WAIFEM collaborates with a number of reputable institutions to ensure international standards in its programmes. These among others are International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, UNITAR, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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