“Let Ethiopia Read: Let’s Read and Bloom”

Abrehot Library organized a half day forum for panel discussion with a theme of “Let Ethiopia Read” at the attendance of a number of guests and concerned bodies where the Library is situated, Arat Kilo, on the 28th of April 2023.

Government officials, AAU Scholars, Artists and other concerned bodies participated in the discussion under the motto of “Let’s Read and Bloom”.

The main points of the discussion was focused on how to develop the culture of reading; the reasons why we are not good readers or what are the problems for not to read as intended to be; the current status of reading habits and what should be done for the future to boost our reading habits whatever and wherever the levels we are, etc.

Daniel Kibret, Advisor of Social Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of the FDRE said that writing is a successful way of transferring thoughts, history and identity from one generation to the next. Ethiopia is a country with a long history of written documents with its own alphabets that should be explored, kept and transferred for generations to come, he added.

The current tendency of reading and writing, however, according to Daniel, is not very much prevalent due to lack of library access, insufficient written materials and published books, printing costs and discouraging situations for the writers and so on.

According to Daniel, the opening of Abrehot Library is seen as a great start, and the work of expanding libraries should be strengthened in every region, zone and district. The government is working hard on that with due focus, he informed.

Daniel further pointed out that, instead of blaming the young generation for not being motivated to read, it is essential to remove the existing challenges, expand reading areas, minimize printing and related problems, and write the histories in everywhere without getting lost. “Universities should contribute lots of works in different aspects in order to accomplish this goal,” he stressed.

Wubayehu Mamo (Eng.), Director of Abrehot Library and Special Communication Advisor for AAU President, said that reading plays an important role in building of healthy social interaction, economic and political development.“Reading does not mean reading everything available, but it is necessary to choose books by evaluating and realizing the benefits and effects that would be brought out and shared to others,” he added.

Wubayehu indicated that the challenges we have been facing so far, as a country are evolved from lack of deep and concerned reading. “So, reading is important in order to meet the generation under one national authority, deploy in science and technology, create positive interaction between individuals and communities, harmonize common political and economic consensus, protect the people from confusion and destabilization trends, …,” he underlined.

According to Wubayehu, taking the wisdom from the ancient Ethiopians’ reading and writing ability, translating and transferring information as well as the art of crossing generations is very important for the current time in order to produce books that can remove ignorance, reconcile generations, and eradicate poverty.

Wubayehu finally pointed out that, Ethiopia needs many libraries like Abrehot, and currently Abrehot serves as a source of knowledge for more than 10,000 readers of all age groups in a day and is an institution where more than 4,500 young volunteers are participating to serve.

The panel discussion was moderated by Dagnachew Asefa (PhD) and several issues were raised by the panelists BedluWakjira (PhD), Dereje Gebre and Yonas Zewde for discussion.

Reporter: Tsion Aysheshim

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene

Editor: Abraham Girmay