Why were Sub-Saharan countries much more likely to keep their colonial languages' official status after independence?

Oct 2011
25,519
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#11
I can give a good contribution about this: I've got some Senegalese friends and also one from Mali. They work in Italy now.

Well, they find it natural to speak French [even if they don't trust France!].

I speak French and it happens I discuss in French with them. I have actually asked to them why they find it so natural to speak French ...

As for I have understood there are two points:

* one is in common with India about English ... the presence of numerous local dialects and the absence of a national language preceding the colonial invasion.
But Indians, thanks to their national identity went beyond this problem.

* French is a kind of noble lingua franca. If a Senegalese man speaks in French to a Senegalese women ... well ... he makes a good impression, since he has to be well educated.

I would add a third reason: in those countries Islam has been accepted as a natural religion, nothing more [this is why in Senegal Christians and Muslims cohabit without problems]. In Senegal they can read the Koran in Arab, but they haven't accepted the Arab language as common language [it's like in Italy where a part of the Catholics still uses Latin ...].