$21,000 Burt Award for African Literature to be launched in Ottawa Monday
Sept 8, International Literacy Day
OTTAWA, Sept. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian development organization CODE is
marking this Monday, International Literacy Day, by launching a new award for
Tanzanian writers of literature for youth.
The Burt Award for African Literature, made possible through CODE by the
generous $1M contribution of Torontonian philanthropist Bill Burt, consists of
three annual cash prizes worth $21,000 and publishing contracts for winning
"The Burt Award offers that extra incentive for authors to write good
books that instill a love of reading in young people," says Knowlton Nash,
CODE's Advisory Council Chair.
Like many African countries, Tanzania has made significant progress
towards achieving universal primary education. Thus, the number of Tanzanian
students moving from primary to secondary school, where the language of
instruction changes from Kiswahili to English, has tripled since 2000.
"More than ever before there is a need for Canada to step up and help
create culturally relevant, quality English books for youth," says CODE's
Executive Director, Scott Walter.
In the award's inaugural year the competition will be held in Tanzania,
and will be co-managed by CODE and its UNESCO award-winning Tanzanian partner,
the Children's Book Project. In future years the award will expand across
Africa, on a country by country basis.
"I speak for all Tanzanians when I say that this is a truly valuable
contribution to education in our country," says Tanzanian High Commissioner
CODE, in collaboration with the Tanzanian High Commission, is announcing
the Burt Award for African Literature Monday Sept 8 at Library and Archives
Canada, Room A, at 6:30pm. Hosted by CBC's Adrian Harewood. Media welcome.
At CODE we believe that if a child can learn to read and write, that
child can learn to do anything. For 50 years CODE has been working with local
organizations to empower children to learn by supporting libraries and teacher
training as well as national and local book publishing in Africa and the
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