The government has commissioned an ultra-modern French language laboratory at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) to train public servants to enable them communicate effectively with their Francophone counterparts.
However, the edifice, which has two main lecture halls, would be offering 750-hour learning programmes for both beginners and those who would want to sharpen their skills in the language.
Mr. Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Minister of Public Sector Reforms, who commissioned the edifice on Monday noted that the language centre was in fulfilment of an agreement between the government of Ghana and the French government signed in December 2006. According to the minister two lecturers who went for a one-month intensive training in France have been employed by GIMPA to handle the courses at the centre.
“The centre would help public servants have good command of the French language and enable them participate actively in various activities with sister francophone countries”, he added.
The French government he said, had made available scholarship packages to Ghanaian public servants and urged them to take learning of the language seriously.
Mr. Owusu-Agyei, challenge all public servants, who would come to the laboratory at GIMPA, to study seriously and also achieve an appreciable skill level, which would make communication with their colleagues in neighbouring francophone countries much easier.
The French Ambassador, Mr. Pierre Jacquemot, lauded the cooperation the two countries had enjoyed over the past decade and said the facility was to improve the relationship through the study of the language.
He observed that the French were partnering Ghana in many areas to ensure the holistic development of the country.
Dr. Stephen Adei, Rector of GIMPA said the institute acknowledged the importance of imparting French language skills to public servants and therefore thanked the French government for the Laboratory.
He said the laboratory would have a well-structured programme by February next year to train 300 civil servants as beginners and 150 in advanced French.
Mr. Joe Issachar, Head of the Civil Service, said since francophone countries surrounded Ghana, it was vital that the study of the language was encouraged to enhance effective communication.
He said there would be special training programmes in the language for security personnel as well especially those stationed at the country's borders to make communication easy for them.