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World Literacy Day … in Dar

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This year’s observance of International Literacy Day highlights the central role of literacy in the empowerment of women. Literacy transforms the lives of women, their families, communities and societies.

Literate women are more likely to send their children, especially their girls, to school. By acquiring literacy, women become more economically self-reliant and more actively engaged in their country’s social, political and cultural life. All evidence shows that investment in literacy for women yields high development dividends.

Women’s literacy has gained greater prominence on political agendas over the past decade, ever since the World Education Forum, in Dakar, at which governments set the goal of halving the number of adult illiterates by 2015. The UN Literacy Decade, running from 2003 to 2012, has given further impetus to reducing illiteracy. Illiteracy rates are dropping, yet approximately one adult in six is still unable to read or write; two out of three illiterate adults are women.

The world needs increased funding and sustained advocacy for quality literacy programmes that empower women and ensure that girls and boys at primary and secondary level do not become a new generation of young illiterates. The International Literacy Prizes awarded by UNESCO today to programmes in Cape Verde, Egypt, Germany and Nepal are examples of excellence and innovation. Each is tangible proof of literacy’s profound and positive influence on women living in very different circumstances – from rural environments to immigrant urban communities. Such programmes deserve to be widely replicated and expanded.

Every literate woman marks a victory over poverty. On this International Literacy Day I urge governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and all development partners to make literacy accessible to women everywhere. Literacy is an essential foundation for development and prosperity. Empowering women through literacy empowers us all.

The World Literacy Day in Tanzania was marked with celebrations of the Burt Award for African Literature during which winners of the 2nd Burd Award were awarded and books that won the 1st Burt Award were launched. The guest of honour was His Execellency Mr Robert Orr, Canadian High Commissioner. Below are some images of the event:

Canadian High Commissioner, Robert Orr and his delegation, being received at the venue, Russian Cultural Centre, by CBP Board chairperson, Mr Saiwaad and other members of the CBP secretariat.

School children enjoying books on display

Pupils trying their hand at drawing

Pili Dumea, Children’s Book Project (CBP) Executive Secretary delivering a speech

High Commissioner, Robert Orr, launching Treeland: The Land of Laugther – one of the 1st Burt Award winning title published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers.

Mr Walter Bgoya, Managing Director of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, delivering a speech. He challenged the rich in Tanzania to help set up many different book prizes to help improve culture of reading in Tanzania.

Section of the audience

Section of the audience

2nd Burt Award winners. Left: Mr William Mkufya (Manuscript: Face under the Sea); Centre: Ms Nahida Esmail (Manuscript: Living in the Shade); and Right: Ms Elieshi Lema (Manuscript: In the Belly of Dar es Salaam).


Drama: The Best is Yet to Come

Books on display

About the Burt Award for African Literature

The Burt Award for African Literature is a new literary prize that recognizes excellence in young adult fiction from Africa. It is sponsored by CODE through the generous contributions of Canadian patron Bill Burt, the award addresses an on-going absence of relevant, quality books for young people while fostering a love of reading and learning. The 1st Burt Award winners were obtained in 2009.


Written by simbadeo

September 9, 2010 at 11:03 am

Posted in Siasa na jamii

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