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October 18, 2008

A look at the world's largest French-speaking country

The ability to speak French is critical to Congo's development and poverty eradication.

Congo has been described as the site of the biblical Tower of Babel.  French is the official language.  But the majority of people only speaks one of the four trade languages such as Tshiluba, Swahili, Lingala, and Kikongo.  But they primarily speak one of the 256 tribal dialects.

They are few books and other educational resources in the trade languages.  And there are almost no resources in the tribal dialects.  Therefore, French is the key to education and development in the Congo.

France 24 | A look at the world's largest French-speaking country | France 24.

Crates filled with books are being sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the hope that the French language can survive among numerous other local languages.

Some 50 members of the French-speaking world are gathered in Quebec city (Canada) to discuss the future of French. But in the war-torn DRC, defenders of the French-speaking alliance have failed one of their missions: conflict prevention.

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Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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