The fourth Francophone Festival, which shaped part of celebrations for the upcoming International Francophone Day, got underway in Hanoi on March 15, attracting hundreds of students from both domestic and foreign universities.

The event created a good chance for participants to join in a number of activities exploring the French language and cultural diversities of French-speaking countries.

It also housed 20 booths introducing various genres of books and newspapers, training programmes and scholarship opportunities to attendees.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Secretary General of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) Abdou Diouf highlighted the necessity to use other important languages fluently besides the mother tongue.

He said the French-speaking community works for a future of solidarity, and called for the young participants to fight for solidarity, justice, liberty, peace and prosperity.

As a member of the OIF since 1970, Vietnam has been active in cooperation with other member states.

OIF groups 57 member countries, governments and 20 observers. The Asia-Pacific region has Cambodia, Laos, Vanuatu and Vietnam as its members and Thailand as an observer. The OIF opened the Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific in Hanoi in 1994.-VNA