Exciting news for language and education enthusiasts! A Bilingual Revolution for Africa, a new book examining the potential of multilingual education across Africa, has just been released. This book, edited by Ayé Clarisse Hager-M’Boua and myself, brings together educators, researchers, and actors on the ground to explore the benefits of dual-language education in various sectors and countries of Africa.
The book’s preface is written by Yao Ydo, Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education, while the introduction is written by Ayé Clarisse and I. The book is divided into four parts, each containing essays on various topics related to bilingual education in Africa.
The Center for the Advancement of Languages, Education, and Communities has announced the following call for papers. In this book, we wish to examine the potential of multilingual education across the countries of Africa and in diverse sectors. Authors are invited to present an essay about the local applications of various models of dual-language education and the ways to encourage their growth and scale. This book will seek to offer a positive and constructive vision for the future and will try to combat the myths and received ideas about bilingualism and education in Africa, namely, ignorance and obstacles that have retarded the development of dual-language education as a strategy for inclusiveness and equity as well as a means to achieve economic growth and develop human capital within Africa’s multilingual environments. The goal of the Bilingual Revolution is to advocate for a multilingual education for all, but to do so, we must raise the awareness about the importance and the advantages of multilingual education, including African languages used as teaching languages for the basis of education, for Africa and to reach as many people as possible. One is allowed to dream, and so, each author submitting a paper to become a chapter of this book is invited to share his or her dream for the future of education on the continent.
Honored to see my book on American Foundations and African Universities so prominently featured in France’s new strategy on the role of philanthropy in financing global development. Philanthropic practices for development are growing in number across the globe, mainly in Africa and especially in the health sector. In Europe, philanthropic actors are becoming more structured. In France, foundations are increasingly interested in international development, as can be seen in their mobilization in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Through their structural and operational specificity, linked to their flexibility of action and innovation, foundations have a full role to play in international development, alongside public actors. Strengthening synergies of action and partnerships between the French government and foundations, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Pandemic exposes need for new university funding strategy. My interview with Wagdy Sawahel for University World News Africa Edition touched on philanthropy and higher education in Africa and the potential of university foundations. As governments around the world redirect capital spending towards mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and health sector requirements, universities are bracing themselves against the financial impacts on their own operations.
I was thrilled to present my books on Radio Television Sénégalaise with TV host Khady Ndiaye on a show called Kenkelibaa. I shared the floor with Abdoulaye Fodé Ndione and Antoinette Correa, two leading publishers engaged in developing reading and access to books in West Africa.
I was at the Musée des civilisations noires in Dakar for a colloquium on bilingualism and bilingual education organized by Laurent Bonardi and Ecole Actuelle Bilingue. Ranka Bijeljac-Babic, Thierry Nazzi, Aliou Seck, and I brought different perspectives on the advantage and importance of bilingual education and bilingualism in our societies, and their potential for cognitive, cultural, and economic development.
I was in Dakar for Thanksgiving and presented my books, Unequal Partners and Partenaires inégaux at the West African Research Center (WARC). I was equally pleased to visit Université Cheick Anta Diop and exchange with the administrators of Fondation UCAD as well as meet with several professors and students.
In the context of higher education, the primary language of instruction—the language that is used in class and to conduct research—is an important but complex factor. In many countries, the language of instruction varies between the primary, secondary, and university levels. Unsurprisingly, American foundations investing in higher education on the African continent target institutions where English is the primary language of instruction. English is the primary language of instruction at more than 90% of the institutions of higher education that have received grants from American foundations; the equivalent figures for French and for Arabic are 4% and 3%, respectively. I was thrilled to present on this issue during the Comparative and International Education Society’s annual conference in San Francisco in a panel chaired by legendary scholar, Robert Arnove.