The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as part of efforts to promote reading among city dwellers has partnered West Blue Consulting a world-class IT firm to unveil a new library at its office premises (Accra City Hall) in the heart of the city.
The opening of the new library named "e-Ananse" forms part of activities to mark the 2019 edition of ‘Ghana Reads’, a community reading festival aimed at encouraging Ghanaians, particularly children and the youth, to develop the love for reading, and bridging the gap between readers and authors or publishers as well as comemorate this year's International Reading Day.
The e-Ananse libraries which are a new concept in public libraries in the country are to help revitalize Ghana’s reading culture and provide people with the tools to compete in the 21st Century by giving them access to high-quality contemporary literature, state-of-the-art computing facilities, and world-class literary events while maintaining the Ghanaian storytelling heritage. It is a CSR initiative of West Blue Consulting and a long-held dream of the founder, Ms. Valentina Mintah, to provide Ghanaians with culturally-relevant resources that celebrate our African heritage in line with her mantra, “Think Global; Know Local.”
The library has a unique focus on African heritage and identity, both in its design and contents with books written primarily by writers of African descent.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra and Chairman for the occasion, Mohammed Adjei Sowah commended West Blue Consulting for reintroducing kids to African culture with the use of Ghana’s Kwaku Ananse folklore.
He noted the concept was appropriate because it seeks to promote local content which could easily be related to, adding that it was for this reason that the city authority was providing the necessary environment and resources to promote reading in the city.
He admonished all and sundry to read wide in order to acquire more knowledge.
The former Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Matilda Amissah Arthur who was the Special Guest of Honour in a speech encouraged writers to write books based on things in the environment that children could identify and relate to in their everyday lives.
She said reading was not only about reading textbooks but also supplementary books such as story and literature books since these would help children learn new vocabularies.
“Reading is important in our everyday lives. If you want to improve on yourself, read a lot of books. If you stop reading, you are depriving yourself from learning a lot of activities,” she said.
Delivering the keynote address, a former Chair of the National Media Commission of Ghana, Nana Kwasi Gyan- Apenteng appealed to government to put in measures to ensure that all public institutions have a library.
This he said would attract people who visit these places and inculcate in them the habit of reading since most of their time was spent at places like the schools, churches and mosques.
He also advised all students to make reading a daily routine and not a supplement activity as this would go a long way to improve their performances at school due to technological advancements; writers should introduce online books since most children do spend most of their time on the internet.
Mr Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng entreated the Ghana Movie Industry to include reading of books in their scenes. This he said was one of the strategies in encouraging reading in the country.
The Director of e- Ananse, Cephas Larbi expressed appreciation to the Mayor and the AMA for giving out the space for the E Ananse Library and encourage students and everyone to read and make use of the library.