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France to pump more funds in cultural activities

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

BOIDIN—We have to re-open the embassy

French Ambassador to Malawi and Zimbabwe, Richard Boidin, has said he regrets that they closed the French Cultural Centre (FCC), now Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) in 2011.

The once mighty entertainment mecca was ransacked by thieves thereafter and is still in a sorry state.

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“We have to re-open the embassy because the links between Malawi and France are special. We want to do more and help grow the creative industry in the country apart from promoting the French language,” said Boidin, who is based in Harare, Zimbabwe said.

The French envoy said they have a programme to transform the Maison de la France, which runs together with Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) at Mandala in Blantyre, to Alliance France so as to provide a lot of programmes.

“We are also looking at financing Jacaranda Foundation. We want to put more money into cultural activities for Malawi. We want to come back and, next year, we want to make artists cooperate, promote Malawian artists and not only have French artists in the country,” Boidin said.

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He also said he wants to be coming to Malawi more often, observing that art and culture are one common thing between France and Malawi and not only business.

“Last time I came I discussed with the President on French investment. We are also looking at developing the French investment apart from arts and culture and I am looking forward to coming back in June. I also want to wish the country all the best as it heads to the elections in May and I am sure they will be free and fair elections,” Boidin said.

The French envoy was the guest of honour during the 31st Edition of the French Schools Drama competition held at Stella Maris Secondary School in Blantyre on Saturday which saw Jacaranda School for Orphans retain the championship.

Deputy Director – Secondary Education, Ruth Samati Kambali, hailed the French ambassador for his presence and described the French Schools Drama competition as a success.

“French is one of the subjects on the curriculum and so this forum gave students a platform to learn and share,” Samati Kambali said.

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