Youth Icons Ghana in collaboration with Readwide Ghana Limited and ace hiplife music icon Obour, last week organized a dinner at the African Regent Hotel to launch an educational campaign to promote and reactivate a national reading culture and establish ten community libraries nationwide.
In his welcome address the Executive Director of Youth Icons Ghana (NGO), Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, said his outfit believes in the power of books to spread respect for traditional culture and in building a harmonious and innovative society and were therefore seriously worried by the apparent lack of interest in reading, especially among children and the youth of Ghana who form the audience of his organization.
He said he shared in the assertion that a people without books will never have real education, and education without reading is simply training.
He stressed, “If our children are not encouraged to read for pure pleasure, but are dragged away from reading books they enjoy- including picture books, and pushed into reading educationally worthy books, then we are in danger of creating a generation of non-readers”.
He encouraged all Ghanaians, especially policy makers and corporate Ghana, to give their total commitment and support to the Ghana Reads Campaign, believing in the campaign team to deliver on their promise.
Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa called for a national policy on reading, judging from the very low reading standards over the years.
He said, “We believe knowledge is power. I therefore entreat you all to give handsomely to support a noble course. We do not have to deny our children an opportunity to read”.
Professor Atukwei Okai an avowed poet of international repute and Secretary General of the Pan African Writers Association, who was the special guest of honour, underscored the critical importance of reading to the development of any society and urged all Ghanaians to support the Ghana Reads Campaign project.
On his part the ambassador for the campaign, Obour, indicated why he chose to be a part of the campaign saying he was always motivated by a sense of 'fellow feeling' which makes him believe that if he is aware and his fellow Ghanaian was not aware, he would never be safe.
He said it was that spirit that made him embark on the road safety campaign to educate Ghanaians on good road manners.
An appeal for fund to construct libraries yielded over three hundred thousand Ghana cedis. The first library project, which would cost two hundred and fifty Ghana cedis and which will be constructed in Bongo in the Upper East Region, was pledged by Mr. Ibrahim Mahama.
The Bongo Naba, who was present at the launch, was grateful to organizers for choosing his town to be the first beneficiary of the library project and promised his full support and commitment to see to the construction of the library. He indicated that his palace will provide a parcel of land for the project.