A conference that seeks to encourage a reading and publishing culture among the country’s students has started at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).
The three-day conference will focus on improving the reading culture and publishing books in learning institutions.
The conference, whose theme is “Academic Publishing and Reading Needs in Higher institutions of Learning”, is organised by Rwanda Book Development Initiative (RWABODI), an affiliate member of the East African Book Development Association.
Speaking to The New Times, the initiative’s president, Stephen Mugisha, urged students to develop the culture of writing and publishing their own books, which in turn will provide them with a career as well as develop the country’s human resource capacity to satisfy reading needs.
“The reading culture in Rwanda is still very low; on top of that, all the publishers and most of the reading material are foreign. We therefore encourage Rwandans to venture in this field and support the development of the book industry through private initiatives,” Mugisha said.
He added that the conference will bring together all stakeholders such as teachers, authors, publishers and booksellers, for consultations and for greater understanding on how the sector can be improved to compliment educational programs so as to achieve one of the pillars of Vision 2020.
“Having Rwanda as a knowledge based economy is a pillar that will lead to our development; therefore, enhancing African culture through Rwandan publications will help to create awareness and knowledge of the reality on the ground,” Mugisha added.
He said the conference will focus on promoting relevant training and research projects aimed at strengthening the national curriculum, creating awareness about privacy and violation of intellectual property rights, and increasing access to reading and writing resources.