President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned a state-of-the-art Edward Akufo-Addo Public Library at Adenta Frafraha in the Greater Accra region.
The ultra-modern library is the 110th public library under the management of the Ghana Library Authority (GLA). The facility forms part of wider push by the Authority since 2017 to improve the country’s library infrastructure to aid the realization of broader national development goals.
The facility, which will enable the inhabitants of Frafraha and its environs have access to first rate educational materials, has a seating capacity of 250, stocked with 21,679 books for both adults and children.
The two-storey facility is also equipped with 50 computers for digital skills training and for access to the library’s digital repository. The library also has free Wi-Fi connectivity for users.
At a short ceremony, President Akufo-Addo appealed to Ghanaians to support his administrations drive to expand access to libraries across the country, emphasizing that the accessibility of libraries is essential for sustainable development.
He was not happy that after 71 years of public library services in the country, most Ghanaians still did not have access to such important community anchor institutions “whose role in the growth and development of our society is extremely positive”.
The President said the Government, to remedy the situation, had over the last five years redefined the mandate of the GLA and charged it charged it to be responsive to the growing needs of the Ghanaian population.
He said he was so far impressed with the growth drive by the GLA, especially the expansion of library network through various strategic partnerships, and the introduction of the digital library, the provision of access through mobile phones, the increase of books on the shelves of libraries across the country.
“I want to encourage all Ghanaians to support the expansion of library services for the benefit of all…We cannot achieve the UN’s sustainable development goal 4 which require that we promote quality education for all by relegating the development of libraries to the background.
“The renovations carried out on dilapidated libraries, the availability of internet and computers, the reintroduction of mobile library services, as well as the design of many other innovative solutions and programmes, as other steps taken, are geared towards making Ghana a truly reading and learning nation,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo commended some individuals, including his wife, Rebecca, the deputy majority leader in parliament and member for Awutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markin, and Mr Eugene Arhin, the director of Communications at the Presidency, who have made considerable contributions to the expansion of library services in the country.
The “Rebecca Foundation” has built and handed over 10 library facilities to the GLA and is working on six more. Mr Afenyo Markin has constructed, furnished and handed over 13 library facilities to the Authority, whilst Mr Arhin recently handed over a fully furnished library at Awutu Breku in the Central region.
Before ending his address, the President told the gathering that neither he nor his family played role in the naming of the facility after his late father.
“Before I am predictably, accused by my political opponents of seeking the unwarranted glorification of my father, it must be put on record that this decision was taken solely by the governing board without any input or knowledge by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“My siblings, Marigold, Edward and I, thank the Ghana Library Authority once again, for the honour done the memory of our late father, Edward Akufo-Addo” President Akufo-Addo added.