Monday, September 13, 2010

UNESCO Ranks Equatorial Guinea Highest Adult Literacy Country in Sub-Saharan Africa

International Literacy Day Celebrates Culture and Education

Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) efforts to improve education have been successful and recognized by UNESCO with recent data that ranked it as the highest adult literacy country in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 93% of the population.

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Promotion of Women celebrated the International Literacy Day, established by UNESCO in 1967, to promote culture and education as the main foundations of society and its development. This is a part of a broader effort by the government to improve public education for its citizens.

In Equatorial Guinea, as in many other African countries, the International Literacy Day has been dedicated to improve the literacy of women, with the theme "Literacy and Empowerment of Women." The objective is to fight against the marginalization of women and to achieve a better social and economic future for all the country's citizens.

According to data released this week by various organizations, illiteracy was estimated at 23% of the world's population, compared to 45% in the 1950s. However, by 2010 it is estimated that the illiterate population in the world be more than 850 million people, including 500 million women. Today there are over a hundred million children not attending the school.

The International Literacy Day reminded Equatoguineans that literacy is indispensable for development and health, democratic participation, communication and access to information, and to be able to express and claim their rights.

As part of the government's efforts to promote culture and literacy, the National Library of Equatorial Guinea is sponsoring a national literary contest, the Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Literary Award, in which all Equatorial Guinean citizens, both students and adults can participate. The annual contest is aimed at promoting culture and raising the level of literacy in the society.