Emmanuel Macron has said that ‘French does not just belong in France’
He said: “French will be the first language of Africa…perhaps of the world.”
Macron added that French has a future in the region and should not be seen as a “relic of a colonial power”.
He stated: “It is not just a heritage to be protected. It has a future and this future is playing out in Africa.
The comments come after a plague of criticism against the leader for electing to speak in English during his appearances abroad.
French is currently the fifth most spoken language with the dialect falling behind Mandarin, English, Spanish and Arabic.
An estimated 75million people speak the language of France as their first language with an additional 153million having it as their second language.
The hypothesis comes from predictions that the population of Africa will spike from 800million to 4.5billion in 2100 – almost 60 per cent of French speakers are from Africa.
Mario Monti, an EU commissioner and former Italian prime minister recently called for English to be the main language of the EU after Britain leaves the bitter bloc – he later clarified that French should also play a role.
He declared: “I exaggerate a bit — there should be a bit of French.”
Mr Macron spoke to students at a lecture in Burkina Faso
During his time in Burkina Faso he emphasised that he is “from a generation that would not tell Africans what to do”.
He went on: “I am from a generation for whom Nelson Mandela’s victory is one of the best political memories.”
The population of Africa is set to spike from 800million to 4.5billion
Hours before Macron arrived in the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, stones were thrown at a vehicle belonging to done of his delegates and a grenade was thrown at French troops.
Three civilians were wounded in the grenade attack – no group has claimed responsibility for the act.