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4 September 2012: UNICEF Zambia partners with government to support National Literacy Week

LUSAKA, 4 September 2012 – UNICEF is partnering with the Government of the Republic of Zambia to commemorate National Literacy Week, which is observed 3-8 September with International Literacy Day taking place on 8 September.

For Zambia, National Literacy Week is an opportunity to highlight the urgent need to address low literacy levels among the general population.  Zambia’s literacy rate population aged 15 years and above is estimated at only 67 per cent.

Speaking at a media breakfast this morning, UNICEF Zambia’s Officer-In-Charge Shaya Asindua said, “Literacy is…a challenge that needs greater attention and support. Though the Government recognizes the centrality of literacy to national development, investment in this area is too low.

A solution is to increase the literacy of our young ones, and the educational quality that they receive, so in the long run the country’s literacy rate will reach levels that will make all of us proud.”

With International Literacy Day being commemorated this week, a group of INGOs and NGOs – each passionate in making a difference in literacy in Zambia – are working together to revitalize the reading culture in Zambia. Special events this week include Room to Read Zambia, who will have a special “Reading Tent” at the Arcades Shopping Centre; the Peace Corps, which will hold a reading competition on Mwinilunga Community Radio Station; the Lubuto Library Project which will have story telling sessions with street children in Lusaka; and ZAMPEN, whose sponsoring a literary reading at Alliance Francaise.

“Our combined vision is that literacy – reading and writing – is encouraged and celebrated among children and adults alike,” said UNICEF’s Asindua.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: and

For further information, please contact:
Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia, Tel: +260/211.374200, ext.2020,

Betty Chella Nalungwe, Senior Communication Assistant, UNICEF Zambia, Tel: +260/211.374200, ext. 2023,



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