Originally scheduled for 2020, the biannual summit was delayed until November 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tunisia’s Djerba is going to host the 18th Francophonie Summit 2021 this November 20-21.
TUNIS – Tunisia’s southern island of Djerba will host the 18th Francophonie Summit, a high-profile gathering of dozens of French-speaking nations and international organizations to promote shared values and address global issues of common concern.
The summit, generally held once every two years, will be a major opportunity for Tunisia to take a leading role in the 50-year old organization, which includes 54 member states, 7 associated countries and 27 with observer status from around the world.
“This Summit will be the largest major event ever organized by Tunisia,” Sarra Maaouia, adviser to the Tunisian president on diplomatic cooperation, told Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).
“It is a new challenge for Tunisia and an important event in terms of attendance and number of participating delegations.”
Originally scheduled for 2020, the biannual summit was delayed until November 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tunisian President Kais Saied opted to hold the summit in Djerba, a UNESCO world heritage candidate city that is home to Tunisia’s annual El Ghriba festival, rather than the capital Tunis to drive home his decentralisation plans and development agenda.
“It is at the initiative of President Kaïs Saïed, and in coordination with the OIF Secretary-General, that the Summit will convene not in Tunis but in Djerba, in southern Tunisia” said Maaouia, a choice she said sends a “strong message” that Saied is committed to expanding opportunities in more remote areas of the country.
Economic issues are expected to take centre stage at next year’s summit, which will be attended by major French-speaking investors from across the world looking to expand their horizons.
Organizers expect the Francophone Economic Forum, normally held on the sidelines of the reunion, to play a more important role this time due to the “palpable participation of businessmen from all sides; Tunisians, Africans and foreigners.”
Also featured prominently will be the Village of Francophonie, an event for participating delegations to interact and showcase their countries’ culture and heritage.
Additionally, the ministries of foreign affairs, culture, and tourism will host cultural and tourism events for the heads of state and other official representatives in attendance.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad announced the launch of a website dedicated to the XVIII edition of La Francophonie Summit.
Francophoniedjerba2021.tn provides information regarding Djerba as well as on the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).
The agenda of the summit and side events are also available on this website.
- 10 Most Exciting ‘Live Like a Local’ Experiences & Things To Do in Djerba
- Tunisian-Jewish Gastronomy Contributes to the Charm of Djerba
- Djerbahood: 20 Incredible Works of Art on the Streets of Djerba
Tunisia, an Arabic- and French-speaking country that is frequently viewed as a crossroads between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, is viewed as an ideal location for the intercultural forum. After the official language, Arabic, French is still the second language spoken.
Tunisia has hosted major international and regional gatherings on numerous occasions before, including the Francophonie Summit. The most recent was in March 2019, when the country hosted the Arab League’s 30th summit, which brought together Arab monarchs and heads of state to discuss pressing regional issues.