President John Dramani Mahama has described Nigerian writer Prof. Chinua Achebe’s literary works as works that mirrored the challenges of societal integrity, cultural sovereignty and the dilemma of self-awareness and self-confidence as Africans.
President Mahama, therefore, stressed the need for society to encourage and support writers by reading their works and making conscious efforts to seek knowledge and to spur the development of Africa.
The President was speaking in a key note address delivered on his behalf at the opening of the International African Writers’ Conference in Accra on Friday.
The four-day conference, which is taking place on the theme: “Celebrating the life and works of CHINUA ACHEBE: The coming of age of African Literature”, is being organized by the Pan African Writers’ Association (PAWA) in commemoration of the 2015 International African Writers’ Day (IAWD), the 22nd in a series.
In a statement, a member of the Achebe family, Dr Ike Achebe, urged writers not to align with the powerful against the powerless, but to use the freedom of expression to protect the powerless in society.
In a welcome address, the Secretary-General of PAWA, Prof. Atukwei Okai, called for the continuous encouragement of the publication of works created by African writers through the acquisition of books approved by a Quality Validation Board for African libraries.
Prof. Okai said this policy would encourage African writers to devote time to writing and earning a living from writing while enhancing the enlightenment levels of society and growing indigenous publishing industries.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)