The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Book Club is set to launch its African Chapter to encourage children, ages six to 12, to be familiar with the principles of the SDGs through reading.
The launch seeks to augment the Club’s stock of books with a collection of English, French, Arabic and Kiswahili books about the different goals for children.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday said the launch would be held on World Book Day; April 23, and would feature quality African books that dealt with the themes of the SDGs.
It said submissions were opened at http://bit.ly/SDGBookClubAfrica and a selection committee formed by the different partners would pick a shortlist for each SDG.
The statement said founding partners of the Club included Pan African Writers' Association (PAWA), Pan African Booksellers Association (PABA), Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), and the African Publishers Network (APNET).
The rest are African Library and Information Associations and Institutions, Literature for all Nations and United Nations Information Centre Windhoek.
Mr Samuel Kolawole, Chairman of APNET, said there was no doubt that good quality books at all levels could contribute immensely to the attainment of the SDGs by providing knowledge on the goals and steps to be taken to attain them.
He said availability and access to books that were indigenous to Africa, and to which Africans could relate, would help in ensuring that the continent made good progress towards achieving the SDGs.
‘‘That is why the efforts by all book stakeholders across the continent, in partnership with the UN, to organise an SDG Book Club for Africa deserves commendation and should be supported by all,’’ he said.
Mr Olatoun Gabi-Williams, Founder of Borders Literature for all Nations, said: ‘‘It’s wonderful to know that children’s books published in Africa, with their strong SDG messages, will become a visible and colourful part of the global diversity of children’s books through this portal - the UN SDG Book Club African Chapter’’.
Anthea Basson, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre, Windhoek, said the Club would unlock the ambitions of the SDGs through relatable stories, which could inspire young children.
‘‘The narrative in a children's book provides the perfect platform to create teachable moments and examples around the SDGs and the importance of taking action,” he said.
“Reading is a fundamental skill upon which the acquisition of many other skills is based. What better way to explore the SDGs than through a book’’.
The launch follows recent launches in Norway, Indonesia, Portugal and Brazil. The world’s publishing community through the IPA supports the SDGs as an investment in future generations of leaders, innovators and agents of change.
Organisations interested in joining the initiative should contact: Welda Mouton, UNIC: firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Wale Okediran, PAWA: email@example.com
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Book Club was launched at Bologna International Children’s Book Fair in 2019.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals had been adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in September, 2015, encompassing everything from health, to gender equality, and education.
The Goals are to mobilise efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one was left behind.