The Department of French has organized its second student-industry seminar at the Conference Room of the MaisonFrançaise at the University of Ghana. This second seminar, which took place on 21st March, 2017, had two alumni of the Department, Mr. Philip Kumahia, the Project officer of the Christian Council of Ghana and Miss Anna Edna Esi Mensah, Best Graduating French student for the 2015/2016 academic year as panelists. A third panelist was Dr. Elisabeth Kouaovi from Niger, who is an interpreter trainer and the focal point for the Masters in Conference Interpreting at the University of Ghana.

Professor Robert Yennah, welcomed the students and encouraged them to make an effort towards learning French outside the classroom, especially by making time to take in the language by listening to radio programmes in French. As he stressed to the students, they cannot produce what they have not learnt thus the need to focus on the input.

The Head of Department, Professor Robert Yennah addressing a cross-section of the students


The panelists touched on various aspects of the importance of learning French in an Anglophone environment such as in Ghana. Both Mr. Kumahia and Miss Mensah shared how their knowledge of the French language opened doors for them and gave them job opportunities they could not have had without the French language. They encouraged the students to go all out to learn the language as it will provide them with many advantages and opportunities later in life. They also shared their experiences as students and how they managed to persist and master the language.

Dr. Kouaovi also encouraged students to not treat French as a subject to be studied but rather as a tool and as any other language that they have to learn knowing that the sharper the tool, the more effective it will be in getting results. She also encouraged the students to aspire to apply for the Masters in Conference Interpreting since Africa needs highly qualified interpreters.

A section of students present at the event



Dr. Sewoenam Chachu encouraged the students to take the lessons learnt from the panelists seriously and to go beyond classroom lessons by actively taking part in activities organized by the French Club, Alliance Française and other extra-curricular activities that promote the learning of French. She also encouraged them to volunteer during their vacations in francophone settings.

The Panelists with Dr. Sewoenam Chachu


There was an interaction section after the programme with many students asking questions of the panelists. Some also indicated their interest in working as interns at the refugee camps where the Christian Council runs some of its programmes in order to interact with francophone refugees from Ivory Coast.

It is hoped that this student-industry seminar will be run every academic year featuring some alumni of the Department who are using the French language in their careers.