03.09.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Senegal celebrates International Literacy Day on 8 September 2012

Less than half the population in Senegal can read and write © UNESCO/Inez Forbes

'Literacy and Peace' is the theme of this year's International Literacy Day, celebrated worldwide on 8 September.


Senegal celebrates the Day with a week-long series of events and an exhibition. In fact the International Literacy Day coincides with the opening of the National Literacy Week to take place on 8-14 September 2012 in the Senegalese capital Dakar and around the country.

UNESCO Dakar is involved in the celebration together with various governmental institutions involved in literacy activities, UN agencies, bi-and multilateral development partners, NGOs, parliamentarians, and local authorities.

"This is a push to demonstrate the importance of literacy for peace and development," says Hassana Alidou, chief of basic education at UNESCO Dakar. “We will advocate for more interventions in literacy given the positive impact it has on the social, cultural and economical development. We will also showcase successful literacy initiatives,” Alidou adds.

Today, about 45% of adults in Senegal cannot read and write.

Events throughout Senegal

The National Literacy Week will be opened on 8 September with a celebration on the theme of "Cultivating Peace". Several personalities will speak on the contribution of literacy in creating peaceful societies.

The celebration also includes the opening of an exhibition.

During the week, events will be organized throughout Senegal to showcase why literacy is important and to inform about the new orientations of the Senegalese education system in terms of providing "Basic Education for Illiterate Youth and Adults".

These events will involve a great variety of partners and populations. The week will also mobilize the highest-level of political authorities, local communities, grassroots, NGOs, civil society, the private sector and technical and financial partners.

It will finally share and pool innovative literacy programmes and practices conducive to peace and development.

Panel on innovative experiences

A panel on innovative experiences is planned on 12 September 2012. It will focus on PAJEF, an innovative literacy programme in Senegal implemented by UNESCO and the multinational company Procter & Gamble.

It will also present RAMAA, an action research project on measuring learning in literacy, carried out by UNESCO and partners.

The national press is mobilized for a good coverage of the week.

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