About the bid
The title ‘World Book Capital’ is conferred by UNESCO to a city in recognition of its quality of programmes to foster the promotion of books and encourage reading. The scheme was launched in 2001 with Madrid as the first city to be given the title, followed by Alexandria in 2002 and New Delhi in 2003. Bangkok was most recently selected as the 2013 World Book Capital.
Port Harcourt has submitted a bid to become World Book Capital in 2014. If selected, this honour will have a catalytic effect on the Niger Delta region, creating an army of social change agents who, informed and empowered by reading, will work collaboratively to build a peaceful, prosperous and just society.
Why Port Harcourt?
Port Harcourt is the capital of Rivers State in southern Nigeria. Fondly referred to as the Garden City, Port Harcourt was created in 1912 as a shipping hub. It gained influence following the discovery of crude oil in the Niger Delta, and grew to become the nerve centre of the region, which is home to 98 percent of Nigeria’s oil reserves. Today, Port Harcourt is a bustling metropolis and is home to multinationals, international nonprofits, universities, vibrant markets, and world-class hotels.
Beyond its economic importance, Port Harcourt has served as a haven for artists and is the home of celebrated authors such as Gabriel Okara, Elechi Amadi, Kaine Agary, and the late Ola Rotimi and Ken Saro-Wiwa. The annual Garden City Literary Festival has attracted the participation of renowned figures such as Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and J. P. Clark, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ghana’s Ama Ata Aidoo, and the American civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Powered by Facebook Comments