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Bpam shifts World Book Day celebrations again

Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) has shifted the commemoration of the World Book and Copyright Day to May 26.

The World Book and Copyright Day is commemorated on April 23 every year but due to other challenges, Bpam decided to celebrate the day with a symposium on May 19.

But yesterday Bpam President Alfred Msadala said they have shifted the commemoration once again to May 26.

“It is confirmed that we will celebrate the World Book and Copyright Day on May 26 and in addition we will exchange book gifts,” Msadala said.

He further indicated that the symposium will be held in Blantyre at Malawi Sun Hotel.

Msadala said the focus for this year is on the accessibility of books and other reading materials by the visually impaired persons.

“May I also take this opportunity to advise that we have this year embarked on a project that is being supported by Hivos under the theme Taking the book back to the society – women empowerment from grassroots,” he said.

The World Book and Copyright Day was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (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 and 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 by booksellers 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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