United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has picked the garden city, Port Harcourt, South South, Nigeria as World Book Capital for 2014, just a year after Bangkok was designated World Book Capital for promoting reading culture among its young and underprivileged people.
Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude who made the revelation in his goodwill message to mark World Book Day, called on Nigerians to actively embrace reading culture.
He explained that UNESCO’s choice of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital for the year 2014 is a source of national pride and an inspiration for better appreciation of books and the invaluable benefits of cultivating reading culture among Nigerians.
He said the commission has been alive to its mandate of facilitating the emergence of a favourable environment for entrenchment of a development driven copyright community in the country and canvassed for continued support of all stakeholders and development partners in the creative industries.
He explained that the celebration “is rooted in efforts aimed at promoting editorial diversity, equitable access to the wealth of books and the protection of copyright and allied intellectual property rights which fall under the mandate of the Commission.”
“This year’s celebration focuses on ways to better disseminate the culture of the written word and guarantee access to it by all men, women and children. We are being enjoined in the message of the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, to appreciate the fact that books are our allies in spreading education, science, culture and information worldwide”, he stated.
He said the NCC is delighted to join member-states of UNESCO, especially stakeholders in the copyright industry, literary authors and publishers, in celebrating the power of books as a veritable vehicle of transmission of knowledge and forging understanding among peoples of diverse cultures.