The Literary Renaissance Foundation (LRF) is set to launch new initiatives across major cities in Nigeria in 2023. This is in line with its mission to promote a reading culture among the Nigerian populace by breathing life into the dying embers of reading habit in the country in particular, and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
The details of the new initiatives were first unveiled by the Executive Director of the Foundation, Babatunde Oladele, in a presentation to a cross-section of faculty and graduate students at the Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States. The programmes, which are two-fold and cell-like in operation, are set to be released in phases from January 2023.
The LRF is a nonprofit that is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education as well as promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. To that extent, the body is committed to creating “a New Nigeria where books trend, knowledge rules, and intelligence is celebrated”. The organisation has made it its primary mission to get Nigerians back to books and by so doing foster a vibrant reading culture in the country “one person per time”.
According to reports, almost 40 percent of the Nigerian population is non-literate, with over 20 million children reported to be out of school and 4 in 10 elementary school children not being able to read for comprehension. These are some of the challenges that the foundation has saddled itself with tackling.
With the Nigerian population rising above 200 million and the nation projected to become the world’s third most populous country by 2050, the country has reached a stage where its challenges potentially have global repercussions. Therefore, the drive of the LRF to initiate a reversal of the trend.
The new initiatives of the foundation are specifically designed to address these problems and spark an interest in reading in both children and young adults in Nigeria, with the ultimate aim of improving literacy, which will in turn help to improve the quality of education, develop competencies, and contribute to national development.