Ambassador David Gilmour’s Remarks at the Launching of English ACCESS Scholarship Program

Launch of English ACCESS Scholarship Program
Dapaong, November 14, 2018



Good afternoon,

It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today, for the launch of the English Access program here in the city of Dapaong. I am not on my first visit here and each time, I have always had a warm welcome, which shows your openness and your willingness to work for the development of your community. Thank you.

Access is a program aimed at promoting the English language. You probably wonder why promote the English language in a French-speaking country?

(Ask one or two answers from the audience)

Thank you for the good answers. I would like to add that the English language has become the language of the globalized world. It is the language of world trade, of science and technology, and it is the language of diplomacy.

So, young people in Togo will grow up in a world where English is everywhere. And that is why it is so important that they master it. For this reason, I am very proud that the Embassy has brought the Access program to Dapaong. The English Access Microscholarship Program provides a foundation of English language skills to talented young people aged 13 to 20 from economically disadvantaged areas through classes outside of regular classes for two years. In addition to the English language these students will also benefit from other courses on American culture, their personal development and community involvement.

Since 2004, more than 600 Togolese took part in this program from Lome to Kpalime, Sokode and Kara. Some of these students improved their academic performance and others had the chance to participate in other US State Department exchange programs.

My sincere gratitude goes to the local authorities, especially to you, Mr. Préfet, for your openness and commitment. My deep gratitude to the Director of CPL Yanfouom for accepting to serve as host institution for this program. I would also like to thank parents and teachers for your support and collaboration. I encourage you to continue your effort to support these children, as they are future generation of leaders.

As for you dear students and recipients, I extend my sincere congratulations and encourage you to take the most advantage of this program. I would like to share with you the thought of Mrs. Marian Wright Edelman, an American child advocate in the United States who says: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

Thus, by actively participating in the Access program, you will certainly improve your English skills, but also you will have access to a platform for exchanging ideas, which will allow you to multiply your chances of a better future for yourself, your community and your country, Togo.

The US Embassy in Togo is very proud to support this program of the State Department since the benefits will not be individual but collective and communal.

I declare the first edition of English Access launched in Dapaong.