The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has sponsored the Mogadishu Book Fair (#MBF2018) for three years in a row in support of a Somali-driven campaign for literacy.
This year, the fair took place in the heart of Mogadishu, August 15-17, bringing together thousands of children, youth, and families to listen and engage with diaspora and Somali authors, poets, journalists, playwrights, and literary scholars. A united Somali society took center stage, advocating for quality Somali education and the promotion of a culture of reading and literacy with the tools to obtain it.
Through its programs, the United States government has been sponsoring hundreds of arts and cultural activities throughout Somalia to promote social cohesion and a sense of shared Somali national identity. In the following months, authors will be conducting four months of creative writing workshops with aspiring youth writers in Mogadishu. USAID will be supporting another six book forums in drought-affected communities in Baidoa, South West State.
“The United States is proud to support the Mogadishu Book Fair, which has succeeded again this year in inspiring a new generation of readers and storytellers, and creating a stage for creativity and learning,” says U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Martin Dale. “We believe that, as part of the development of Somalia, it is important for Somalis to write stories that validate Somali experiences and inspire future generations to reflect on uniting themes and values.”