As the world marks the World Book and Copyright day on April 23rd, Guinea’s capital Conakry has been officially declared the World Book Capital 2017, a tenure that will last a year.
The day will focus on visually impaired persons who have difficulty accessing books and other printed materials leading them not to fully and effectively contribute to society.
Conakry becomes the 17th city to be chosen since 2001 and authorities in the country have earmarked activities that will nurture the reading culture amongst its population especially young people.
In particular, the PHARE project which involves the construction of a media centre in each commune within the capital and series of reading areas in each neighbourhood at an estimated cost of 5 billion CFA Francs (EUR 7 million).
In a country where the illiteracy rate stands at 60% officials hope that the series of events planned for a whole year will contribute towards lowering the figure.
Conakry was singled out by UNESCO due to the quality and diversity of its programmes that put emphasis on youth and literacy.
The city takes over from Wroclaw, Poland and becomes the third African city after Alexandria in 2002 and Port Harcourt in Nigeria in 2014 to hold the title.