France Moves to Revamp Public Reading in Congo

Panafrican News Agency (Dakar), 23 March 2001

Brazzaville, Congo—France and Congo Thursday signed a financial agreement to revamp public reading in the latter, within the framework of a project aimed at kindling interest in reading among Congolese youth.

Congo's minister of Culture would, with French technical assistance, coordinate the three-year project costing 500 million francs CFA.

It consists in the creation of 11 pilot libraries in each chief town of the country's ten regions, including the city council of Brazzaville.

The objective of the project is to establish a national network and partnership of libraries.

It will also supply books to the network and train staff in management techniques.

At the signing ceremony, network coordinator Jean-Claude Kimani lamented the social and economic crisis bedevilling Congo, the spin-offs of which include a decline in school attendance, coupled with a steady rise in illiteracy.

French Ambassador Hervé Bolot signed for his country, while Congo's minister of Culture and Arts, Mabou Aimée Gnali, signed for her government.