Scott M. Youngstedt
Saginaw Valley State University
The 5th Francophone Sports and Arts Festival This paper focuses on the cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the 5th Jeux de la Francophonie held in Niamey, Niger in December 2005. Participants
representing about 40 Francophone and Francophile nations competed in seven sports and seven arts events.
The paper analyzes a variety of themes, such as:
1) the opinions of Nigeriens and international visitors regarding the Games;
2) the ways in which a shared Francophone heritage–expressed through sports and arts–can serve to create cultural unity;
3) reactions to the full participation of women given Niger’s ambivalence and hostility to women’s participation in sports and arts; 4) how the Nigerien state and citizens defined Niger for an international audience;
5) the economic impact of the Festival.