‘Language is key business asset’

THE multilingualism factor has been cited as an important asset to the country’s economic and business growth, Rwanda High Commissioner to Tanzania, Major General Charles Karamba has said.

Studies indicate that linguistic diversity can help build trade relations, boost earning power and more so has a powerful economic impact.

Major General Karamba revealed this during the opening ceremony of weeklong events in regard to the Francophone held at the Embassy of France on Wednesday evening in Dar es Salaam.

“Culture and education are very important aspects of productivity…multilingualism is very critical, therefore the series of events which have been lined up to mark the commemorations of the Francophone will help people build strong networks,” he said.

The envoy indicated that Rwanda was among African countries speaking French, noting that as a member of the East African Community, the country has trade with Tanzania.

According to him, language was a factor that contributed to the relationship between the two countries, saying linguistic demography that speaks French in Tanzania was partly the reason.

Earlier, the Ambassador of France in Tanzania, Mr Nabil Hajlaoui indicated that Tanzania harbours about 1.5 million French speakers, while

more have continued to express interest due to available opportunities in terms of more exchanges in areas of trade, scientific cooperation with neighbouring DR Congo which recently gained membership in the EAC.

“This is a very big opportunity because DR Congo is the biggest French speaking country, even bigger than France itself,” asserted the Ambassador.

According to him, the 1.5 million population was quite sizable, taking into account that the country did not have a history with any French speaking countries previously.

Elaborating, he noted that the group was among the elite who have studied in international universities and spent more years abroad or engaged through international cooperation.

In expanding the scope of more French speakers in the country; he expressed the commitment to make more progress in further teaching the language at all levels for the language to be more open to the neighbours.

He went on to reveal that over the years more investments will continue coming from France and Europe to Tanzania, noting that the investors and big groups need French speakers in the country.

Similarly, in future there will be more opportunities for youths who are well-trained and in addition to their skills there will be better places to speak the language.

He added “more and more Tanzanians have continued to learn and study the French language. Besides, Tanzania is engaging with its neighbours who are French speakers, including DR Congo and others in the Indian Ocean Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte Island, Rwanda and Burundi which speak French.”

As such, the Ambassador called on members of the public to take part at the events prepared by different French speaking countries from four different continents, including Asia, Europe, Africa and North America through Canada.

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