International Literacy Day celebrations in Ethiopia

Reading Promotion 2016: Lessons and country reports

20th June 2017 | Publications

In 2016 Book Aid International launched a Reading Promotion campaign – a new project that would promote the local community and value of reading to local communities.

The vision of the campaign was to amplify the voice of our partners in favour of support for library services. We wanted to support libraries’ work promoting their services as vital resources to be used by all community members, to be valued by local authority and decision takers and be seen as valued resources in national development and educational agendas.

What we did

We provided prizes, funding, marketing materials and suggestions to libraries in five countries so that each library could run its own event on or around International Literacy Day, 2016 (September 8th).

We encouraged libraries to engage the local community and encourage reading amongst children so that all members of that community understood the importance of reading and use the day as an opportunity for the community to discover or rediscover the library.

We also suggested a range of literacy activities which libraries could run, competitions and games for children and parents alike to denote that reading as fun. In all cases, we also suggested that libraries invite the mass media, dignitaries and other guests of honour to capture the spirit of the event, showcase the activities on offer to a wider general audience and build support for their services.

Outcomes – Adults and children attending the events

Countries participated included: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In each country, the event was different to reflect the local challenges and opportunities that each community faced. We have summarised some of the key outcomes are highlighted below.


Country No. Adults attended No. Children attended/Participated
Cameroon 50 250
Ethiopia 200 100
Uganda 132 122
Zambia 49 131
Zimbabwe 92 114



Outcomes – mass media in attendance

Country Mass media support
Cameroon Vision 4 – radio and TV station

BBC Radio

The Post, The Sun, The Star, The Guardian Post, The voice newspapers

Ethiopia Ethiopian Herald newspaper

Brana Radio programme (FM 97.1)

Sierra Leone Africa Young Voices newspaper

New Vision newspaper

Uganda Invited but did not respond
Zambia Zambia Information Service (ZIS)

Radio Mano and Radio Lutanda

Zimbabwe Invited but did not respond


Each participating library prepared a report detailing what they did on the day. Click on the links below to read their reports.