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In the 1960s, the Senegalese Leopold Sedar Senghor, the Tunisian Habib Bourguiba, the Nigerian Hamani Diori and the Cambodian prince Norodom Sihanouk are campaigning for the creation of an international French-speaking community.

This French-speaking community is first organised around the creation of a multitude of associations – universities, parliamentarians, teachers – all of which have the French language as their common point.

In 1970, the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT ) is created on the occasion of the first event bringing together French-speaking heads of state and government in Niamey, Niger.
This type of gathering would later officially become the Sommets de la Francophonie, the first edition of which was held in 1986 in Versailles, France.

President François Mitterrand, who came to power in 1981, launched the French institutional Francophonie, a veritable diplomatic tool.

It was not until 1997 that the International Organisation of La Francophonie acquired a Secretary General: Boutrios Boutrios-Ghali (1998 to 2002), Abdou Diouf (2003 to 2014), Michaëlle Jean (2015 to 2018), and since 2018 Louise Mushikiwabo.