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French tipped to help Kenyans in job market


Cyril Gerardon (left), the head of co-operation and cultural affairs at Embassy of France in Kenya, and Linguistic Attache Julie Braind in Nairobi on March 5, 2019. SALATON NJAU | NMG

Convenors of an upcoming two-week Francophone celebrations say embracing the French language positions Kenyans better for jobs in countries that speak the language.

They said in Nairobi that ongoing initiatives to open up Africa to trade creates new opportunities for Kenyans across all sectors in French-speaking countries in Central, West and North Africa.

“French was introduced in Kenyan schools in 1967 and at university level in 1971, which has proved beneficial to many Kenyans working in 100 French companies in Kenya and in other African countries. More employment opportunities for Kenyans abound at the United Nation’s Nairobi headquarters, international agencies while students can also access affordable university education abroad within universities that use French as a medium of learning,” said French Embassy head of co-operation and cultural affairs Cyril Gerardon.

The two-week events which will coincide with French President Emmanuel Macron’s two-day visit will culminate in a regional conference for French-language students to be held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Tunisia Embassy’s charge d’affaires Mohamed Salim supported ongoing educational developments in Kenya, saying introduction of French as a subject in primary, secondary and at university level will boost Kenyan professional careers.

“French complements other languages at the workplace and is a major advantage to Kenyan workers seeking foreign postings in French-speaking countries,” he said. Kenya hosts French training college Alliance Francaise that trains about 5,000 students annually, drawn from across the region.

The two-week fete which starts on March 12 to March 28, will see schools and university students participate in competitions, music and drama performances, with a visiting Swiss designer showcasing his work in Nairobi.