Sharjah joins UNESCO World Book Capitals to reinforce literacy in Guinea

CONAKRY, Guinea, 6th May, 2018 (WAM) — Sharjah, the future World Book Capital for 2019, and Wroc?aw (Poland), the World Book Capital 2016, have joined forces to fund a project aimed to reduce illiteracy in Guinea, where the capital, Conakry, was last year’s World Book Capital.

Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading and to organize activities over the year.

As part of the World Book Capital programme, the distribution of 100,000 school textbooks began last week in public schools throughout Guinea, creating opportunities for the youngest and poorest citizens in Guinea to learn to read and write. The project has the potential to change the lives of up to 500,000 children in Guinea, UNESCO said.


Recognising that education is a fundamental right of every human being, Sharjah joined the project to support the distribution of the textbooks. Guinea has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world.

The World Book Capital 2016, Wroclaw (and more than 500 Polish private and institutional donors) and Sharjah, the future World Book Capital for 2019, financed the textbooks.

The distribution of the textbooks happened in the same week that Conakry officials traveled to Athens, Greece, to symbolically hand over the title of the UNESCO World Book Capital to the Greek capital, which takes up the baton for 2018. With this distribution, the “Books for Guinea” project, formally entrusted to the Guinean Ministry of Education and Primary Education reaches its conclusion.

Sharjah was named World Book Capital for the year 2019 because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population.

With the slogan “Read – you are in Sharjah”, the programme focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing and children. Among other events, there will be a conference on freedom of speech, a contest for young poets, workshops for creating Braille books and tactile books as well as many events for Sharjah’s multi-ethnic population.

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