Mafalda, manga and calligraphy from around the world celebrated at UNESCO

UNESCO will celebrate World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April with an exhibition at the Organization’s Headquarters to mark the 50th birthday of Mafalda, the rebellious but peace-loving character created by Argentinian cartoonist Quino; manga and writing workshops; as well as demonstrations of Arabic, Persian, and Western calligraphy.


UNESCO will also launch a report on Reading in the Mobile Era on the occasion of that day. The study investigates the particularly valuable potential of mobile devices as vectors for reading in parts of the world where most people cannot afford to buy books.

A competition, Make your own Book Cover, is also organized for children aged six to 13.

On that day, Port Harcourt (Nigeria) will become World Book Capital 2014. The city was chosen by UNESCO, the International Publishers Association (IPA), International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) “on account of the quality of its programme, in particular its focus on youth and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing.”

“Our goal is clear,” says the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, in a message for the Day, “to encourage authors and artists and to ensure that more women and men benefit from literacy and accessible formats, because books are our most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building.”

World Book and Copyright Day was established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1995. It is celebrated every year on 23 April, the birthday of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantès.


Activities organized for World Book and Copyright Day this year:

Journalists wishing to cover events during the Day should request accreditation from :

Djibril Kebe, d.kebe(at) or Isabelle Le Fournis, i.le-fournis(at)