Michaëlle Jean, new Secretary General of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF)

Haitian President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe were on hand to welcome the newly appointed Secretary General of the International Francophone Organization (OIF), Michaëlle Jean, to the post. Her appointment was decided in Dakar, Senegal, during the 15th staging of the Francophonie Summit held on Sunday, November 30.


Haitian-born Jean was a refugee when she traveled to Canada in 1968. There she would become a journalist and then take up the mantle as a statesperson and Governor General of Canada. Jean is expected to take on her new duties for the OIF in January of 2015, where she will continue her agenda to promote usage of the French language, and the economic fortifying of French-speaking countries, attributes expressed by President Martelly.

She has succeeded Abdou Diouf in the post, and the naming of this Haitian-Canadian has brought much pride to the country. Prime Minister Lamothe commented that she is the first person outside of Africa, and the first woman, to be given the title and to be admitted into the OIF's General Secretariat. He expressed his congratulations to her and stated the Haitian government's intent to fortify its own bonds with the OIF, acknowledging that Jean has always shown great solidarity with Haiti.

The President also gave his congratulations to Ms. Jean on her momentous achievement on behalf of the entire Haitian population. He noted in his address that Jean has always been an advocate for women and the young as well as the promotion of French.

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