- By Rebecca Frankel
Rebecca Frankel is senior editor, special projects at Foreign Policy. She is the author of War Dogs (forthcoming in the fall of 2014 from Palgrave), a book about canines in combat, the subject of her regular Friday column "Rebecca's War Dog of the Week," featured on The Best Defense. Before joining FP in 2008, she was managing editor of Moment Magazine, a publication founded by Elie Wiesel in 1975, where she began working in 2003. In addition to her work on war dogs, Frankel has written on a wide range of topics from the religious escapades of singer Bob Dylan to Hitler's family doctor. Her profile of author Joyce Carol Oates was published in the collection Joyce Carol Oates: Conversations in 2006. She has appeared as a commentator on ABC World News and MSNBC among others. In 2011, she was named one of 12 women in foreign policy to follow on Twitter by the Daily Muse.
It looks like Rwandan school children will soon be trading their copies of Le Petit Prince for Paddington Bear. Rwandan education officials announced this week that French will no longer be the first language of education — all lessons will be in English by 2011.
It would seem that this latest shedding of French culture by Rwandan officials comes too close on the heels of last summer’s controversial accusations to be taken as anything but an insult by France. It was just last August that an independent commission set up by the Rwandan government implicated 33 French military and political leaders in the 1994 genocide and called for them to stand trial. Rwanda’s current government, moreover, is led by former rebels who fought and ousted what they saw as French proxies.
Rwandan officials, however, were quick to add that this latest move is not a spiteful jab at France. Vincent Karega, Rwanda’s trade and industry minister, said the motive was purely economic: “English has emerged as a backbone for growth and development not only in the region but around the globe.” In addition to the English-speaking investors now coming to Rwanda, the country also relies on trade with places where deals are made in English, like East Africa.
Rwanda may be onto something here: The country’s state minister for education has already noted that English textbooks are much, much cheaper than the French alternative.
Photo: JOSE CENDON/AFP/Getty Images
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |