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Today marks the opening of the 7th edition of the Francophonie games, this year being held in the southern French town of Nice. This year's games, however, will be missed by some particpants, in particular certain African countries that are currently plagued by instability.

This morning was the opening ceremony in downtown Nice for the games. French President François Hollande was there to ring in the games along with other heads of states. But missing from the joyous occasion were athletes from Egypt and Guinea-Bissau, along with ten members from the Democractic Republic of Congo, said one of the organisers of the games.

Guinea-Bissau pulled out of the Francophonie at the last moment on Friday. The small west-African nation has been plagued by a succession of politically motivated violence and coup d'Etats. The country is building up to elections expected this November.

With Egypt in the midst of another crisis, the interim government opted to not send a delegation to attend the games. The decision by the Egyptian government was "for political and security reasons" according to a delegate from the Francophonie.

As for those still missing from the DRC delegation, it appears to be a delay in processing their visas through the Belgian embassy.

But, regardless of the absentees, 54 countries are currently participating in the games that go on until 15 September. The games are organised every four years after the Olympics wrap up the year before.

The games were first created in 1987 during the Summit of La Francophonie in Quebec City, Canada. The mandate of the Comité International des Jeux de la Francophonie (International Committee of the Francophonie Games) reports to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (International Organisation of the Francophonie), or the OIF.

The OIF is based on the shared use of the French language and common values. Members of the OIF include over one third of the countries belonging to the United Nations.

After a 19 year absence, the games have come back to France. Nice beat out Malabo, Guinea and N'Djamena, Chad as hosts for this year's games.

Magnifique! Our Magazine is now printed in French.
by Muguette Goufrani


muguetteA window sign at our Alliance Française Club in Vancouver, Canada reads, "One out of every three Canadians speaks French." Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world, and each fall it hosts the SITV Travel Show, which is attracting African exhibitors. That's a key fact to know when marketing tourism to North America. Yet did you realize that half of Africa speaks French? When the Africa Travel Association's Board of Directors agreed to print our magazine in both French and English we were overjoyed. Africa Travel Magazine's new format opens the door to travel and investment opportunities galore. This decision doubles our reach and influence by appealing to the entire Francophone Community. To emphasize the point, our next ATA International Congress is May 2007and the host city will be Addis Ababa. Ethiopia.

French Speaking countries featured in our current magazine and online include: Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d' Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, Tunisia

A major part of Africa is French speaking
La Francophonie is an active, positive force, whose members are: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic (Zaire), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, France, Gabon, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, India (Pondicherry), Italy (Val d'Aoste) Jersey Island, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mayotte, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Moldava, Monaco, New Caledonia, Niger, Reunion Island, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, St. Pierre & Miquelon, Switzerland, Syria, Tahiti, Tunisia, Wallis & Futuna, Wanuatu, Vietnam, Macedonia, Poland, USA (Wisconsin, Louisiana, New England). We will receive subscriptions to Africa Travel Magazine from most of the above locations thanks to this important step.

Muguette Goufrani: Muguette a travaillé pour les compagnies aériennes, les Agences de Tours, Voyages et Automobiles dans les pays Africains francophones, les Antilles, la Polynesie Francaise et l'Asie.