Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Books for Africa and the Ghana Library Board have signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby Books for Africa will provide high quality new books free of charge to the Ghana Library System for the promotion of literacy.
Ambassador Daniel Ohene Agyekum of the Ghana Embassy in the United States and Tom Gitaa, Books for Africa board president signed the memorandum of understanding formalizing the relationship during a ceremony at the official residence of the University of Minnesota president, Robert Bruininks.
Ambassador Agyekum was in Minnesota to keynote the annual Books for Africa fundraiser luncheon in Saint Paul and signed the memorandum on behalf of the library board.
Books for Africa, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota is the largest shipper of donated books to the African continent. It has shipped over 22 million books to 45 African countries since its founding twenty years ago. Books donated by publishers, schools, libraries, individuals and organizations are sorted and packed by volunteers who carefully choose books that are age and subject appropriate. The organizationâ€™s second and now main warehouse was opened in Atlanta last May.
“I would like to express my government’s commitment to working with you (Books for Africa) on this,” the ambassador said during remarks at signing ceremony reception. The ambassador shared with those present the importance of books donated by BFA in lifting the literacy standards of his country.
“We at Books for Africa are ready to help Ghana in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said Tom Gitaa at the signing ceremony. Mr. Gitaa said that Ghana is already one of the top recipients of book donations from Books for Africa and the new partnership with the Ghana Library Board should accelerate the trend. The board president described the new partnership as a long term one.
The partnership with Ghana Library Board in addition to books being sent will also include encyclopedias and refurbished computers should GLB so request, according to the memorandum.
Later at the annual luncheon, Ambassador Agyekum while addressing Books for Africa supporters expressed his governmentâ€™s appreciation for the books it receives and urged those present to continue with their material support of Books for Africa. The annual luncheon is Books for Africaâ€™s single largest fundraising event.
While in the Twin Cities, the ambassador also held meetings with executives at Thomson Reuters. The company is a key partner of Books for Africa for its Law and Democracy Initiative which sends law books to African law schools.