The Ministry of Sports and Culture through the Rwanda Library Services and its partners organised the Book and Reading Festival 2015. The theme of the festival was “Literacy for Self-Reliance”, or Dusome Duharanira kwigira in Kinyarwanda.
The festival took place from 16-20 February 2015. The main purpose of the Book and Reading Festival was to promote and enhance literacy, reading and a writing culture. It aims to reach young people and children and raise awareness about the role of public libraries as information and cultural centres. Libraries also play a big role in national development, to advise communities about the role of books, reading and writing.
The 2015 festival marked the third edition of the annual event. It included various reading and writing promotion programmes as well as information literacy programmes which were celebrated throughout the country with support from different partners. Some of the programmes carried out in different districts include:
- February 16th in Rulindo District, Base Sector: Inaugurating Base Community Library
- February 17th in Kayonza District, Gahini Diocese: Library exhibition and visit, school competition
- February 18th in Nyanza District Community Library: Adult Health Education Initiative on blood pressure, library visit and reading programmes
- February 19th in Rusizi District: Inaugurating Community Library in Youth Yego Center, book donations, library visit, reading programmes
- February 20th Walk for Literacy from Parliament to Petit Stade, Remera, Kigali
- February 20th at Petit Stade, Remera: Closing ceremony involving all partners, an inter-school competition with different schools from Kigali City, library
visit at Rwanda Library Services and book donations from RLS to schools
Festival partners included the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Education Development Centre, Editions Bakame, Ishyo Arts Centre, Save the Children and the Rwanda Book Publishers Association.
Rwanda aims to become a knowledge-driven, middle income economy by 2020. This vision will be achieved by literate communities. Adopting a reading culture is an important path to developing literacy skills for self-reliance.