The International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF)

The International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) has 77 member states, of which 57 are full members (orange) and 20 countries have observer status (green). © Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie

The International Organisation of La Francophonie is responsible for coordinating international cooperation between its member states and governments. Linguistic and cultural diversity, universal values such as peace, democracy and human rights as well as sustainable development are the ties that bind these states together within the IOF. The organisation collaborates with four specialised agencies (direct operators).

The IOF coordinates relations and cooperation between the 77 member states, i.e. its 57 full members and the 20 countries with observer status. The term “La Francophonie” is often used as a synonym for the IOF.

The IOF comprises the following institutions:

  • Conference of Heads of State and Government
  • Ministerial Conference (CMF)
  • Permanent Council (CPF)
  • The permanent specialist ministerial conferences: Conference of Education Ministers (CONFEMEN) and Conference of Ministers for Youth and Sport (CONFEJES)

Ministerial Conference (CMF, fr)

Permanent Council of La Francophonie (CPF, fr)

Conference of Education Ministers (CONFEMEN, fr)

Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sport (CONFEJES)

The missions and objectives of the IOF until 2014 are defined in the 2005–2014 ten-year plan, which the heads of state and government adopted at the 2004 summit in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The IOF's objectives are the following:

  • Promote peace, democracy and human rights
  • Support academic and vocational education as well as apprenticeships and research
  • Orient development cooperation towards sustainability and solidarity
  • Promote cultural diversity

The strategic plan for the period 2015–2022 will be adopted at the 2014 Francophonie Summit in Dakar (Senegal).

The values of La Francophonie

The IOF seeks to ensure solidarity, peace, democracy, sustainable development and the rule of law in the member states of La Francophonie. These key values form the basis of La Francophonie Charter which was adopted in 1997 at La Francophonie Summit in Vietnam and was supplemented in Madagascar in 2005. The IOF promotes international cooperation and cultural diversity in its activities and programmes. 

Charter of La Francophonie of 23 November 2005 (fr)


Democracy, human rights, education, sustainable development, linguistic and cultural diversity and good governance are the main directions of La Francophonie activities. The IOF promotes the exchange of ideas between government representatives and civil society of the Francophonie member states through projects.

Cooperation with four direct operators

The IOF collaborates with the four following organisations: 

  • Academic Agency of La Francophonie (AUF): the universities of western Switzerland, the EPFL Lausanne, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland and other educational institutes are members of the AUF. The State Secretariat for Education and Research has made financial contributions to the AUF. Switzerland has a seat on the agency's board.
  • TV5 Monde: Switzerland was a co-founder (in 1984) of this French-language TV channel which broadcasts to more than 200 countries.
  • The International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF): AIMF is a network of local authorities which implements projects within the framework of a shared system of values.
  • The Senghor University of Alexandria: Switzerland has a seat on the board of this Francophonie direct operator based in Alexandria (Egypt) that trains African development experts.

Academic Agency of La Francophonie (AUF, fr)

TV5Monde (fr)

International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF, fr)

Senghor University (fr)

La Francophonie 

La Francophonie groups together all states in which French is spoken as an official language, mother tongue or language of instruction. French is the most widely used language for 220 million people worldwide. It is used by some 900 million people in 77 IOF member states.

History of the IOF 

The IOF's predecessor, the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, was founded in Niger in 1970. The IOF developed out of this structure in 2005. 

Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)