The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has selected Port Harcourt in Nigeria as the 2014 World Book Capital.
According to the agency, its selection committee chose Port Harcourt for the quality of the programme it presented. It focused on youth and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing to improve literacy rates.
The selection committee, which met at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, brings together associations in the book industry – the International Publishers Association, the International Booksellers Federation and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions – as well as representatives from the culture agency.
Each year, the committee bestows the title of World Book Capital to a city, which has committed itself to promoting books and reading, and to highlight the vitality of literary creativity. The nomination does not imply any financial prize, but it is an exclusively symbolic acknowledgement of the best programme dedicated to books and reading, UNESCO said.
Port Harcourt is the 14th city to be designated World Book Capital following Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogotá (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012) and Bangkok (2013).