BAt’Carré just announced that Haitian-Canadian Michaëlle Jean, former governor general, is the incoming Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie and is expected to take office January 1, 2015. According to the Canadian Press, she will be the first woman to hold the position.
Jean will succeed Abdou Diouf, who was described as “a great man respected for his action in favor of the unity of Africa.” He was President of the Republic of Senegal for two decades after Leopold Sedar Senghor. He served three terms as head of Francophonie and now wishes, at age 78, to leave office.
While the organization has concentrated largely on cultural issues over the years, as the Canadian Press explains, Jean has expressed that more emphasis should be put on economic matters. “One of the most ambitious and daring objectives that la Francophonie has ever set for itself is the idea of an economic Francophonie,” she told a news conference after being named by consensus at a summit of its members in Dakar, Senegal.
L’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie now includes 77 member countries and represents 274 million francophones on five continents. The next summit of la Francophonie will be held in Madagascar in 2016.
For more information, see http://www.batcarre.com/ocean-indien/reportage/2014/11/30/ocean-indien,-michaelle-jean-a-la-tete-de-la-francophonie,261.html and http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/11/30/michaelle-jean-new-head-of-la-francophonie_n_6243408.html
Also see http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/micha%C3%ABlle-jean-in-la-francophonie-post-to-work-closely-with-pm-again-1.2855671 and http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/11/30/michalle_jean_the_new_head_of_la_francophonie.html