2023 French Week: FNCCI Organises Job Fair, Workshops for Bilingual Nigerians 

2023 French Week: FNCCI Organises Job Fair, Workshops for Bilingual Nigerians 

 Yinka Olatunbosun  

 In celebration of this year’s French Week, the French-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) hosted a remarkable job fair, workshops, and panel discussions aimed at strengthening the business ties between France and Nigeria. The job fair featured the participation of nine prominent companies, including Access Bank, Leadway Insurance, and Air France, who presented exciting job opportunities to attendees. 

The majority of the attendees were French undergraduates from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), alumni of Alliance Française Institut, and bilingual Nigerians. Participants were also treated to engaging in French language workshops, where they discovered the professional sectors in which France excels. They learned valuable skills such as crafting appealing CVs and cover letters, which are essential in today’s competitive job market. Speaking on the theme, “French Up Your Career,” Marc Brebant, the Director of Alliance Institut Francais, emphasised the importance of the French language and environment in opening doors to numerous opportunities for Nigerians. 

Furthermore, he highlighted that the benefits of French proficiency extend beyond personal opportunities, including studying abroad in France, to professional opportunities both in France and Nigeria, given Nigeria’s proximity to French-speaking countries. 

 “French Up Your Career is about how the French language and French environment can help you as a Nigerian to have more opportunities in your life. Could be personal opportunities. If you do have, for example, a project in studying abroad in France, together with concrete floors. It could also be a professional opportunity, not only in France but also in Nigeria because you know that French-speaking countries surround Nigeria,” he stated. 

 The job fair and conferences provided a unique platform for Nigerians to connect with both French and Nigerian companies, creating potential career prospects for participants. Prof. Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo, Pan-African Philanthropist and Founder of Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, a large private university in Kano State who was one of the panellists maintained that Nigerians who speak French have more chances in getting international jobs while he encouraged more Nigerians to learn french as a second language. 

 He noted during the panel discussion that was moderated by Claude Mwamba, a journalist with the theme, “Working With France And In French, SpringBoard To Success? “We are now in the global village and we will not allow our future to be in a dilemma. We will not sit back and watch other African countries benefiting from international exposure, and international jobs. And our children are local job seekers. You know, we have to go beyond the border, we have to get some frontiers.

 ”It’s very important for the younger ones to add French as a second language. You are just feeling that you are a giant of Africa but you are nothing. Because you’re not Internationalised. You only know Nigeria. You’re not internationalised. You claim to be a giant of Africa and you don’t know Africa. All your neighbours are Francophones.

“You see, there is opportunity in this language. There’s a great opportunity, but you know, people think they’re doing a favour to France when they learn French. They’re not doing any favour to France. That information is for yourself. And also they think if you speak French, you are colonised by France. I am promoting French because I know that you will be internationalised if you have a second language. You can have international jobs. You have a lot of opportunities.” 

 Some of the alumni among the audience agreed that making French their second language has given them an edge in the Nigerian labour market and can access international job opportunities. The event was put together by Alliance Francaise Lagos, FNCCI, and Campus France Nigeria.

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