The 4th International Board on Books for Young people (IBBY) Africa regional conference will take place from August 22-24 at Hotel Africana.
Uganda is going to host the 3-day summit which is organized by the Uganda Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association (UCWIA), for the first time.
Evangeline Ledi Barongo, the chairperson UCWIA, during a press briefing on Thursday, said that the goal of IBBY is to ensure children and young people in any part of the world have access to quality books.
Barongo said that media can never overtake traditional reading material, so our children must be encouraged to embrace book reading.
“Parents need to stop buying expensive dresses and films for children and instead buy for them books to equip them with knowledge,” Barongo said.
Charles Batambuze, the Executive Secretary National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), said that the culture of reading in Uganda is still wanting.
“Most schools have library sessions but teachers use that to instead compensate missed lessons; they don’t take reading as important,” he said.
“The conference delegates will focus on key issues of authorship, publishing, language, culture and book distribution.”
Barongo further urged the government to support the association, not necessarily financially, but also to give it a voice because it will have a great impact.
The Minister for Education and Sports, Janet Museveni is expected to grace the official opening of the conference and James Tumusiime, the managing director of Fountain Publishers will be among the keynote speakers.
This year’s theme is “Rethinking contemporary Literature for Children and Young Adults in Africa”.
Previous IBBY conferences have been held in South Africa and Rwanda.