French to EnglishThe evolving dominance of English as the international language of business is being felt now in Rwanda. The former Belgian colony has decided to change its entire education system from French to English in an attempt to become part of the mostly English speaking East African Community.

Most Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda, one of three official languages along with English and French. Whilst English has been an official language in Rwanda since 1994, it was only an option at school along with French until now.

Rwanda has also applied for membership to the Commonwealth of Nations, which is also English speaking. The change also has a historical basis: 

underpinning the move is a long and bitter dispute with France born of its support for the Hutu regime that oversaw the 1994 genocide of 800,000 Tutsis, which has seen the French ambassador expelled and the closure of the French cultural centre, international school and radio station.

With fewer than 5% of the current population speaking English, however, it will be interesting to see how this policy affects the Rwandan people.