Accra mayor Elizabeth Kwatsoe Sackey has called on the general public to patronise books authored by Ghanaians and indigenes to empower and educate children on their cultural heritage and identity.
The mayor was speaking at a press conference ahead of the official launch of the Accra World Book Capital slated for Monday, 24 April 2024.
The mayor urged parents, educators and stakeholders within the creative arts sector to use books authored by Ghanaians to teach children about their cultural identity.
“The children we are seeking to empower must be taught our identity through books. I am, therefore, calling on parents and educators to patronise books written by Ghanaian authors,” the mayor stated.
The mayor noted that the programme would ignite in Ghanaians the spirit of reading while impacting society positively to achieve the national goal of Ghana becoming a learning nation, thus, the need to infuse the country’s oral culture into written literature to foster development and aid the eradication of illiteracy.
She expressed the AMA’s commitment to supporting UNESCO’s agenda in order to ensure that all segments of society enjoy and express their cultural rights.
The mayor also commended key stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, UNESCO, agencies and committees responsible for achieving the title of the programme.
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, for his part, noted that the decision to make Accra the World Book Capital demonstrates the organisation’s recognition of ongoing reforms in the country’s creative arts industry and the rest of Africa.
He further noted that the Government of Ghana believes in this vision and recognises the need to address barriers to equity and inclusivity in all aspects of societal life and has, therefore, put in place several interventions to help achieve this.
“The Government of Ghana believes in this vision and also recognises the need to address barriers to equity and inclusivity in all aspects. In education, through making secondary education free, provision of more schools, STEM centres across the country, development of Adaptech curricula at all levels and improving the quality of teachers and the teaching profession and all efforts by the government to guarantee a just and sustainable society,” the Education Minister revealed.
He stressed that in the area of culture, the national cultural festival had made strides in literacy development through drama, poetry recitals, drum language, dance, and choral music.
This, he indicated, was key to the goals of the Accra World Book Capital and presented opportunities for students to use diverse representations for effective communications.
The Minister urged all stakeholders in the book and the creative arts industry to support the fight against illiteracy to imbibe the culture of reading and writing among children and the youth.
The Representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to Ghana, Abdourahamane Diallo, pledged to mobilise all partners to support the event to promote reading while stressing the year-long programme was an opportunity to forge alliances with other big cities where they have book fairs.
The Accra World Book Capital launch slated for April 24, is on the theme: “Reading to connect minds for social transformation.”
The slogan for the 2023 title year is: “Akwaaba, let’s read” and is expected to end on Saturday, 22nd April 2024.
Accra’s title year entails a series of activities including marathon reading sessions, spelling bees, quizzes, reading and creative-writing competitions, capacity-building workshops, among others.
Following evaluation by the World Book Capital Advisory Committee from UNESCO, at its 215th session in Paris, France, on September 22, 2021, the city of Accra was named the World Book Capital 2023.