Ambassador David Gilmour’s Remarks at the English Clubs Workshop


Monsieur the Regional Director of Education
Monsieur the Chief Inspector of English
Honored teachers and inspectors of English

It is a great pleasure to be here with you today to open this workshop. I will keep my remarks brief but I just want to say how much I appreciate the commitment you have shown to improve your knowledge of the English language. If you are here today it is because you have already shown that you are passionate about English – so congratulations and thank you!

Apart from that, I would just like to offer a few words to explain why the U.S. Embassy supports the promotion of English in Togo. Obviously, English is our national language, so it makes sense that we would want more people to speak it. An increase in the number of Togolese who can speak English will lead to an increase in cooperation and understanding between our two countries.

But it is about much more than that. The truth is, we want to see a strong, stable, prosperous Togo that can act as a regional economic hub and a partner in confronting the security issues facing the region. And to do that, English is a necessity.

English is the global language, the language of science, the language of the internet, and the language of international business and diplomacy. That means it is not the most commonly spoken language but it is the most commonly spoken second language.

Added to that, Togo sits at the center of coastal West Africa, a rapidly growing market of 300 million people, and it is positioned between two of the continent’s most dynamic economies–Nigeria and Ghana– which are both both English speaking!

Thus, English is the key that will enable Togo to unlock its potential and become an important regional transportation, shipping and logistics hub with global connections. That economic potential could raise the living standard for Togo’s seven million inhabitants and establish the country as a rising star in Africa. But in order for that to happen more Togolese must speak English.

For the past two years, our English Clubs competition has been helping to elevate the level of English in Togo, and this year, with your support and engagement, it is going to be bigger and better than ever!

In closing, I will lave you with this: Stay motivated, keep trying your best, and don’t give up. Take every opportunity to practice speaking in English. If you do, I can say with certainty that your knowledge of English will create a brighter future for you, and for the whole country.

Thank you very much and have a great workshop!