Dar es Salaam is going
to witness its first Children’s Book Festival June 12 – 14 2014
at the National Museum and House of Culture. The festival will start with
a book parade to launch a book campaign with a rallying call: ‘Place
a Book in the Hands of Every Child’. It also commemorates the Day of
the African Child
(with this year’s Global Theme: ‘Right to Participate: Let Children be Seen and Heard’).
The Dar Es Salaam Children’s Book Festival is a brainchild of E&D Readership and Development Agency and Afrikultur of Sweden. The former promotes reading in and out of school in Tanzania and runs Soma Book Cafe in Dar es Salaam, and the latter organises literacy and cultural events in Sweden and abroad in collaboration with organisations and individuals rooted in Africa and/or African culture. More organisations and individuals have and are still being mobilised to take part in the organisation of the festival. These include association of publishers, booksellers, Children’s Book Project and child literacy civil society organisations, art and cultural spaces, schools and individual artist and educators. The festival is supported by a grant from the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Arts Council.
Katarina Tobé and Matilda Wallin (Afrikultur)
With diminishing oral story telling, a good story book can provide the children with a fairy tale replacement. The festival aims at promoting reading among children and young adults and also to develop their literary skills, including aesthetics. It also aims at increasing access to reading materials, and drawing public attention to the importance of story books in moulding children to become well rounded individuals.
Key activities in the
1) A story competition for children aged 7 years to 12 years
2) Creating a Mural based on a story telling workshop with children facilitated by a famous storyteller/author
3) Children’s books exhibition with special corner profiling 10 internationally known children authors;
4) Children books
5) Workshops and panels
6) Multimedia story telling with children
There will also be a number
of awards at the ceremony including best children book of the year, best child
writers and best young adult authors as well as launches of the mural and
a street library; with ample media presence.
"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."