The Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Kwatsoe Sackey has urged parents, educators and stakeholders in the creative arts industry to patronise books written by Ghanaian authors and indigenes to empower and educate children as well as the youth about their identity and cultural heritage.
“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,” she said.
The first female Mayor of Accra said this on Tuesday at a press briefing ahead of the official launch of the Accra World Book Capital slated for April 24, under the theme: “Reading to connect minds for social transformation.”
The yearlong programme with the slogan: “Akwaaba, let’s read” which is expected to end on 22nd April 2024, entails a series of activities such as marathon reading sessions, spelling bees, quizzes, reading and creative-writing competitions, capacity-building workshops, and many more.
The City of Accra was named the World Book Capital 2023, following evaluation by the World Book Capital Advisory Committee from UNESCO, at its 215th session in Paris, France, on September 22, 2021.
Mayor Sackey said the event would ignite the spirit of reading and positively impact the Ghanaian society to achieve the national goal of Ghana becoming a learning nation hence the need to inculcate Ghana’s oral culture into written literature to help eradicate illiteracy and foster development.
The AMA boss expressed the Assembly’s commitment to supporting UNESCO’s agenda to ensure that all segments of society enjoy and express their cultural rights.
She used the opportunity to commend key stakeholders: the Ministry of Education, UNESCO, agencies and committees responsible for achieving the title of this prestigious programme.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, speaking at a press conference said the decision demonstrated the organization’s recognition of ongoing reforms in the creative arts industry in Ghana and the rest of Africa.
He said the Government of Ghana believes in this vision and recognizes the need to address barriers to equity and inclusivity in all aspects of societal life stressing that the Government, had put in place interventions, including, making secondary education free, providing more schools and STEM Centres, developing adapted curricula at all levels, and improving the quality of teachers to improve learning outcomes.
“The Government of Ghana believes in this vision and also recognizes 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,” he said.
He noted 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 adding that this was key to the goals of Accra World Book Capital and presented the opportunities for students to use diverse representations for effective communications.
He encouraged 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 as well as improve the bridge gap in the industry while producing literate passionate about literature.
Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, the Representative of UNESCO to Ghana, pledged to mobilise all partners to support the event to promote reading stressing that the yearlong program was an opportunity to forge alliances with other big cities where they have book fairs.
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