The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo on Tuesday launched the Ghana Year of Reading, an initiative of the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), in partnership with other stakeholders, to promote and reignite Ghana’s passion for literature.
She also re-launched the mobile library service for the southern sector of the country, opened the new Acquisition and the expanded Book Processing Unit, and unveiled the various books and materials that would support the year of reading agenda into the future.
The Year of Reading campaign is also intended to promote literacy and life-long learning among the populace, especially, among school children at the primary and secondary levels.
It was launched under the theme “Reading for Progress”. The GhLA was established in 1950.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo said the theme was very appropriate and timely, in that, in a growing competitive world, life-long learning had become the only way to grow intellectually and build a wealth of knowledge.
She said knowledge could only be acquired through reading and so Ghana had no option than to reignite the reading culture in the country for the progress “we wish for”.
She indicated that studies had also revealed that many children in sub-Saharan Africa struggle at the lower primary level to read in the official or any local language, and instances where someone is able to read, they do not understand what they read.
“Its consequences for our development is simply unacceptable. We must build a culture of reading to promote socio-economic and human resource development.”
The First Lady noted that the theme also demonstrates the importance of reading, in building the human capital required for the growth of all sectors of the economy.
She expressed the hope that the activities outlined within the Year of Reading would help transform the landscape of reading promotion, as well as efforts to bring library services to Ghanaians.
The Rebecca Foundation acknowledged the enormous responsibility on the library authority and players in the education sector to build a society of readers, and we are committed to our continued work with the library authority to make it possible for all Ghanaians to benefit from accessibility to learning resources, she said.
She said the Foundation’s launch of the “Read to Learn, Learn to Read” project last year, with two prone approaches of building libraries and undertaking reading sessions with children for Television, were parts of efforts to promote reading and learning habit among children.
She announced that very soon, the first library under the Project would be ready and handed over to the Ghana Library Authority to be part of its network of libraries around the country, to enable children of the community of Bia in Western region to benefit from the enormous resources that will be available.
“My foundation is committed to supporting the Library Authority to increase its geographical footprint in the country and will continue to work towards it.”
She commended the Ministry of Education, Management and Board of the Ghana Library Authority, UNICEF and other partners for bringing library back to life in Ghana and the innovation being introduced to get Ghana reading.
She encouraged the Ministry of Education to incorporate library service as a critical component of the educational reforms for Basic schools.