Francophone Africa in UK French/Francophone studies

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There are ninety-six million French speakers in Africa – more than in Europe. French is the official language of twenty-four countries on the African continent, the greatest concentration of Francophone countries in the world. Yet this region traditionally remains little known in the English-speaking world, partly because Africanists in the UK usually do not speak French and prefer to focus their attention on Anglophone Africa, and partly because Francophone African countries have until recently maintained privileged relations with the former metropole, France. In the context of accelerating globalization, this situation began to change in the 1990s, when Francophone African countries sought to diversify their foreign relations away from a largely exclusive relationship with France. But the region remains an under-studied research area in metropolitan France and within French/Francophone studies in the UK, continental Europe and the US. Indeed, there has hitherto been no degree programme in Europe or the US, at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, that focuses on Francophone Africa. One result of this is a dearth of researchers in the field. In an effort to plug this gap, the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth launched its MA Francophone Africa in September 2011...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-12
Number of pages3
JournalFrench Studies Bulletin
Issue number122
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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