Canada will be cutting $3 million in funding to the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) following a devastating internal survey on the working environment and a series of controversial decisions made by Secretary-General Louise Mushikiwabo. In a letter dated April 2nd, obtained by Agence QMI, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly expressed concerns over “troubling” facts and a “reversal” in the management methods of the organization.
Internal investigations revealed that she runs OIF as a dictator while living a luxurious lifestyle. For example, she spent UD$120,000 to move into a new apartment, the rent of which is US$18,000 per month.
The internal survey of 209 out of the approximately 300 employees of the OIF revealed a poor working environment. 44% of respondents reported experiencing moral harassment at work, while 9% reported experiencing sexual harassment. The survey showed that 46% of the people surveyed were unable to speak or report their experiences, and 75% of those who did speak up thought that “it did not result” in concrete outcomes.
The Secretary-General reportedly dismissed the survey during a recent meeting of the Permanent Council of the Francophonie, citing the “bias” of respondents and questioning the survey methodology. In addition to harassment cases, the article also highlights concerns over the reorganization of the OIF’s structure by Secretary-General Louise Mushikiwabo, who has taken over certain powers at the expense of other OIF executives. These changes were made without prior notice or consultation, leading to the Minister’s decision to temporarily cut funding for at least one year.
The funding cut represents the entirety of Canada’s voluntary contribution to the OIF, with the country’s total contribution to the organization being over 15M€ per year. Instead, the money will be redirected to other “operators and institutions to support their respective mandates, in support of francophone populations.” The Minister hopes to see tangible changes on these issues in the coming weeks and months.
Paul Kagame’s former foreign affairs minister, Louise Mushikiwabo with Kagame’s vigorous support, she was elected as the Secretary-General of the La Francophonie (OIF) in 2018 and re-elected in November 2022.