Let’s strive to make Accra a World Book City-Mayor Sowah


The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has pledged to strive in making Accra a World Book City.

 This he said would be achieved with the continuous effort by the city in promoting the culture of reading as well as creating awareness for literacy. 

Mayor Sowah made the pledge on Thursday in a remark at  the official opening of the 17th Ghana International Book Fair 2019 under the theme, “Reaching the World Market through Effective Book Distribution Networks" at Pavilion A, Ghana International Trade Fair Centre.

 Every year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convenes delegates from the International Publishers Association and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to grant the title of World Book Capital to one city.

 The city nominated may hold the title for one designated year, from 23 April until 22 April of the following year during which it undertakes and organises to promote books, literature and reading. 

 The UNESCO World Book Capital program which was launched in 1996, seeks to encourage and promote publishing activities at the local and draw national and international attention to the literary heritage of a city and nation.  

 The Mayor pointed out that the AMA had since 2017 supported the Ghana International Book Fair, as part of efforts to transform Accra into a city of arts because books afford the writer an opportunity to exhibit their intellectual abilities. 

 "We have actively supported and provided platforms for youth in art to exhibit their creativity in the city.  Arts define who we are, it's part of our culture. We supported the Chalewote festival, World Art Day and provided space in the city for some young artists to do graffiti works, he said. 

 He also expressed the city's commitment to rekindle its relationship with UNESCO to promote Arts.

 Prof. Emeritus Stephen Adei , Chairman of National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in a keynote address stressed the need to  encourage local publishing by  supporting production and distribution,  improving productivity and  access to funds as well as build the capacity of publishers and protect intellectual property.

 "When we acquire the technical skills for reading, writing and calculation, it opens the opportunity to acquire higher competencies and the possibilities of participating in economic, social and political transformation characteristics of our globalized world," he said. 

He urged all and sundry to display positive attitude towards reading and admonished teachers to be committed in teaching and helping every child to be literate.

 Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Barbara Gyasi, in a speech read on her behalf said the documentation of the country's history and culture as a people was critical to the future of the country and urged industry players to invest more in the publication of books.