In 1883, prominent figures of the arts, sciences, and politics, such as Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur, along with other visionaries, designed the structure of the Alliance Française to ensure the presence of French language and culture around the world. Nowadays, the Alliance Française network still promotes the French language but also francophone and local cultures in a permanent and enriching dialogue.
The Alliance Française in Southern Africa comprises French language training centres in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, teaching French to over 5 000 students a year, with more than 100 teachers. The Alliance Française also offers a variety of workshops that make the learning experience more fun (French through music, French cuisine, theatre, travel...) as well as special programmes for youngsters from 6 to 14 years old.
With over 400 projects a year, the Alliance Française provides a diverse cultural program presenting a unique mix of music, theatre, visual arts and dance, with the support of the French Embassies, the French Institute of South Africa and in partnership with local companies and cultural entities.
Based at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg, the Délégation générale represents the Fondation Alliance Française in Southern Africa and is in charge of leading the network of Alliance Française branches, offering training, encouraging exchange, sharing skills, and organising and coordinating projects related to cultural exchanges and communication.