Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
Q. – The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie [OIF]: Abdou Diouf’s final mandate expires at the end of this year. Who might succeed him?
THE MINISTER – That’s the great mystery, because there are no candidates yet. There are rumours but there’s no clarity about the candidatures. We’re waiting. There are a few proposals; the Secretary-General, President Diouf, is still there; we talked about it a week ago; we still have time.
Q. – After North Africa with Boutros Boutros-Ghali and West Africa with Abdou Diouf, many people are saying it’s central Africa’s turn. Does this conjure up the names of Pierre Buyoya, Jean Ping, Henri Lopès and a few others?
THE MINISTER – Yes, but the candidates haven’t yet declared themselves yet. So I can’t jump the gun. Henri Lopès had already stood against Abdou Diouf when he was Prime Minister. It’s a fine candidature, but all these candidates would be good leaders of the OIF. I can’t take a stand or give you my choice.
Q. – Can central Africa one day hope to have one of its men or women as leader of the OIF?
THE MINISTER – Why not? Of course. I hope we’ll have that type of candidate.
Q. – Will Algeria join the OIF one day?
THE MINISTER – That’s my greatest wish. The French language doesn’t belong to France; Kateb Yacine said the French language was our spoils of war. The OIF really needs Algeria.
Q. – Because of your Algerian origins, might you be in a better position than others to break the ice between Algiers and Paris?
THE MINISTER – Let’s say that I know how to be Algerian at those times. Yes, I’m very close to Algeria. Today I can tell them that French is a language spoken among equals. Today I can indeed send messages using my identity, which is that of a Franco-Algerian./.