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Accra takes over as UNESCO’s 2023 World Book Capital



The Ghanaian capital Accra formally took over as the 2023 World Book Capital of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) from the Mexican city of Guadalajara on Monday.

“Books and reading are essential to us all, as a source of information, questions and emotions, to get us close with the world,”

Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said at the launching ceremony for the 2023 World Book Capital along with Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He added that the choice of Accra as the 2023 World Book Capital was a call for action to support reading among all people and remove the barriers to reading on the African continent.

While reading some books with some school children at the ceremony, Akufo-Addo said: “The World Book Capital is more than a reading campaign.

It is an opportunity for the government and international partners to leverage these diverse linkages, to culture and education to deepen our collective actions to make progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

“It is also a catalyst for investment in Ghana’s creative and cultural sector that will enable this growing sector to provide more decent jobs for our young people,” the president added.

According to UNESCO, “The application from Accra also includes a strong human rights dimension, which aims to raise public awareness about freedom of information and expression, building on its own promotion of these rights as well as its involvement in World Press Freedom Day.

The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2023, on World Book and Copyright Day.

Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading for all ages and population groups, within and across national borders, and to organize a programme of activities for the year.”

As the twenty-third city to bear the title since 2001, Accra follows Guadalajara (2022) and Tbilisi (2021). Past capitals include Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Anvers (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016), Conakry (2017), Athens (2018), Sharjah, (2019) and Kuala Lumpur (2020).

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