Maputo bids to become World Book Capital

The Mozambican capital wants to become the World Book Capital, a title awarded by UNESCO, accompanied by a set of incentives for actions to promote books and mass reading. Thus, by 2027, Maputo could have the attention of the global book industry turned to it, should its candidature be accepted, in a selection process that is expected to be close due to the number of cities in the world competing for this status and its benefits.

The Maputo World Book Capital Candidacy Office made the announcement after the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation confirmed that all the requirements had been met, and the candidacy is supported by the Maputo City Council and the National Commission for UNESCO.

The application process began in December 2023, with a meeting between representatives from Maputo and an experienced group of seven volunteers from the World Book Capitals Network, which included representatives from cities such as Accra (Ghana), Tbilisi (Georgia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Athens (Greece), Guadalajara (Mexico) and Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), according to a statement from the application office.

Maputo’s proposed programme includes the possibility of hosting cultural, educational and literary events, highlighting the country’s rich literary and artistic heritage.

According to Sandra Tamele, who is involved in the bidding process, the city is committed to developing programmes to promote reading and writing, with the aim of increasing literacy levels and encouraging access to culture and knowledge.

The final decision on the World Book Capital will be announced at the end of July, after deliberation by UNESCO’s Secretary-General on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee.

The last African city to become World Book Capital was Accra in 2023. In 2024 Strasbourg was the designated city and in 2025 the World Capital will be Rio de Janeiro.

The cities named World Book Capital by UNESCO undertake to promote books and reading for all age groups and social groups, both within and outside national borders, and to organise a programme of activities for the year.


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