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Bpam for ‘The book in an inclusive society’

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Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) will hold a symposium at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre on Friday under the theme The book in an inclusive society.

Bpam President Alfred Msadala said in a statement that the symposium was part of commemorating the World Book and Copyright Day.

The World Book and Copyright Day falls on April 23 every year but due to other challenges Bpam failed to commemorate the day.

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They shifted the day to May 19 before shifting it again to May 26.

Msadala said the theme follows the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) declaration that in the year 2017, the publishing industry should look into accessibility challenges for persons with visual impairment.

“It’s important that the publishing industry looks deeper into the issue of accessibility challenges for persons with visual impairment. This is why we have selected the theme titled The book in an inclusive society,” Msadala said.

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The renowned author and poet said apart from exchanging book gifts on the day, there will also be presentations from the publishing industry and library.

Msadala also said that this year they have embarked on a project that is being supported by Hivos under the theme Taking the book back to the society—women empowerment from grassroots.

The World Book and Copyright Day was designated by Unesco in 1995 as a day on which publishers associations, libraries, cultural organisations and authors associations among others mobilise themselves to promote reading.

With technology moving at a fast pace, the reading culture has now gone down.

Gone are the days when people used to spend time in libraries to access new books.

According to available information, the connection between April 23 and books was first made in 1923 bybooksellers in Catalonia in Spain.

The original idea was of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on this date.

In 1995 Unesco decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on April 23, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

The day is also the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

Unesco Director Irina Bokova in her message this year, has reminded the world community that the World Book and Copyright Day is an opportunity for highlighting the power of books in the promotion of our vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all.

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