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March 21, 2022 : UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy: First Lady’s plea to intensify actions to promote literacy among population

First Lady Dominique Ouattara sponsored the solemn award ceremony of the UNESCO-Confucius International Literacy Prize organized by GA-TIC NGO. Thanks to its functional literacy program for women traders in the District of Abidjan through ICTs, this Ivorian NGO has been able to introduce nearly 1,350 market women from Cocody, Marcory and Abobo to reading. The NGO therefore received a diploma 30,000 U.S. dollars or 15 million CFA francs for its contribution in reducing illiteracy in the country. The award ceremony which took place on Monday, March 21, 2022, at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire witnessed the participation of Mrs. Florence Achi, wife of the Prime Minister, Mr. Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mr. Wan Li, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Côte d’Ivoire, Mrs. Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO representative in Côte d’Ivoire and many other personalities. Created in 2005, thanks to the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the UNESCO-Confucius Prize for Literacy pays particular attention to functional literacy, taking advantage of technological environments, for adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth. For the 2021 edition, the Ivorian NGO is the winner of the Confucius Prize for Literacy. Indeed, the NGO presented a practical literacy project for women traders through information and communication technologies, focusing on the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills through digital literacy applications.

 

 

The First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, sponsor of the ceremony, congratulated the winners of the UNESCO-Confucius Prize for their revolutionary contribution for the promotion of literacy among the population in general and women in particular. Taking advantage of this platform, the wife of the Head of State called on the various actors working to reduce illiteracy to join forces a in order to reach their goals.

 

“If we join forces together we can be even more effective in reaching the people concerned. I therefore invite all stakeholders to intensify their initiatives in order to achieve record literacy rates in our country. This is the price we will pay to win the battle for literacy in Côte d’Ivoire,” pleaded Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.  But before that, the wife of the Ivorian Head of State congratulated the NGO for this prize. Indeed, according to Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, she wanted to personaly congratulate the members of this NGO for the quality of their project. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara also spoke about her commitment through the Children Of Africa Foundation to promote education. “(…) I pay particular attention to the schooling of our children, so that later on, they are not confronted with the handicap of illiteracy, but especially that they can aspire to a bright future,” recalled Mrs. Dominique Ouattara. Also, the First Lady cited as examples the construction of the Dominique Ouattara High School in Kong in the north of the country and the Children Of Africa School of Excellence in Abobo, the distribution of millions of school kits to help poor parents send their children to school, the eleven (11) mobile libraries of the Foundation that crisscross the country and which has allowed 350,000 children to have access to reading and the Internet. In addition, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara invited her sisters present to join FAFCI after their learning to read. FAFCI, according to the wife of the Head of State, will allow them to be more autonomous.

Mr. Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, representing Mrs. Mariatou Koné, Minister of National Education and Literacy, welcomed the relevance of the UNESCO-Confucius Prize for Literacy. He made a point of congratulating Mr. Krou N’Guessan Emmanuel, President of the NGO GA-TIC, for this prize which, according to him, materializes the recognition of his merit. He took advantage of this ceremony to reaffirm the commitment of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to ensure that by 2030, all young people, and a considerable proportion of men and women, can read and count. He maintained that in line with this target, the Ministry of National Education and Literacy is committed to the development of human capital which Côte d’Ivoire needs to structurally transform its economy.

Mr. Wan Li, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Côte d’Ivoire, reaffirmed the determination of his country to strengthen its cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of education.

Mrs. Anne Lemaistre, representative and head of the UNESCO office in Côte d’Ivoire, revealed that women remain the most affected by illiteracy. Indeed, she revealed that 2/3 of the 47% of people suffering from illiteracy are women.

Mrs. Samba Assetou, spokesperson for the beneficiaries of the literacy program, invited parents to send their children to school.

It should be noted that two international literacy prizes are awarded by UNESCO. These are the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize and the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

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