International authors in action to revitalize Rwanda’s Francophone literature

In parallel with the conference, roundtable discussions, musical readings, exhibitions, testimonies, and professional meetings are part of the program of these Meetings. [Image: courtesy]
Rwanda—The Francophone Cultural Centre of Rwanda has launched an effort to bring together authors and experts from the book and publishing industries in order to attract and expose more Rwandans to Francophone literature.

From March 1 to 3, different authors from eleven countries will engage with the audience at the ‘Rencontres Internationales du Livre Francophone,’ a conference titled ‘Rencontres Internationales du Livre Francophone,’ to explore several themes of francophone literature and to discuss the challenges facing the book industry.

Among the authors are Alain Mabanckou, Ibrahima Aya, Béata Umubyeyi Mairesse, and Joseph Ndwanyi.

According to Joseph Ndwaniye, a Rwandan novelist residing in Belgium, this is an excellent platform for those who enjoy or at least wish to study French to be exposed to a variety of themes and resources.

Young Rwandan authors may also look forward to the event, as it will provide them with an opportunity to connect and network with some of the industry’s biggest stars, as well as learn a thing or two.

The event, which is perhaps the first big event organized by the French center since it was launched in May 2021 by French President Emmanuel Macron, is a complement to the initiatives done by both nations since their re-establishment.

The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has contributed €5 million to educate teachers for French-language instruction in schools, as part of France’s efforts to promote the learning and teaching of the French language in Rwanda.

Antoine Anfré, the French ambassador to Rwanda, stated that throughout his many interactions within the community, he discovered that there are really more French-speaking Rwandans than expected who are more comfortable interacting in the language.

“As I understand it, there are more Rwandan intellectuals, writers, and artists in francophone literature, and young people need to acquire the French language to access their works.”

He stated that, based on the event’s success, they may look at hosting future editions on a regular basis.

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