Last Monday the Ambassador of Spain in Libya, Javier G-Larrache, travelled to Tunisia to attend the signing of an agreement between the Director of the Institute Cervantes, Luis García Montero, and the Director of Repsol Libya, Simone Sciamana.
The agreement, facilitated by the Spanish Embassy, foresees Repsol financing a Euros 30,000 distance learning project for Spanish students in Libya and for the training of the first twenty Libyan teachers.
This is the first part of a cooperation between the most important cultural institution of Spain, attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and the first Spanish company in Libya, Repsol, within the framework of the many Repsol development projects for Libya.
Establishment of a Cervantes branch in Libya
The next step will be the establishment of a branch of the Cervantes Institute in Libya, in a Libyan university or institution or the embassy itself. This public-private cooperation is very positive and constitutes a first step towards a more prominent presence of the Cervantes Institute in Libya.
The Cervantes Institute is the public institution created by Spain in 1991 to universally promote the teaching, study and use of Spanish and contribute to the spread of Hispanic cultures abroad.
In its activities, Instituto Cervantes deals fundamentally with linguistic and cultural heritage that is common to the countries and peoples of the Spanish-speaking community.
It is present in 87 centres in 44 countries on five continents. Spanish is the second mother tongue in the world by number of speakers, after Mandarin Chinese, and the third language in a global count of speakers.
The increasing spread of the Spanish language
As of 2021, almost 493 million people have Spanish as their mother tongue. The group of potential users of Spanish in the world exceeds 591 million (7.5 percent of the world population). Since the establishment of the Institute Cervantes, the Spanish-speaking community has grown by almost 70 percent More than 24 million students study Spanish as a foreign language in 2021.
It is further forecast that by 2060, the United States will be the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico. Also 27.5 percent of the US population will be of Hispanic origin.