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International Literacy Day Celebrates Culture and Education

MALABO (September 13, 2010) – Equatorial Guinea’s (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) efforts
to improve education have been successful and recognized by UNESCO with recent data that
ranked it as the highest adult literacy country in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 93% of the

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Promotion of Women celebrated the International Literacy
Day, established by UNESCO in 1967, to promote culture and education as the main foundations
of society and its development. This is a part of a broader effort by the government to improve
public education for its citizens.

In Equatorial Guinea, as in many other African countries, the International Literacy Day has
been dedicated to improve the literacy of women, with the theme “Literacy and Empowerment of
Women.” The objective is to fight against the marginalization of women and to achieve a better
social and economic future for all the country’s citizens.

According to data released this week by various organizations, illiteracy was estimated at 23% of
the world’s population, compared to 45% in the 1950’s. However, by 2010 it is estimated that
the illiterate population in the world be more than 850 million people, including 500 million
women. Today there are over a hundred million children not attending the school.

The International Literacy Day reminded Equatoguineans that literacy is indispensable for
development and health, democratic participation, communication and access to information, and
to be able to express and claim their rights.

As part of the government’s efforts to promote culture and literacy, the National Library of
Equatorial Guinea is sponsoring a national literary contest, the Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Literary Award, in which all Equatorial Guinean citizens, both students and adults can
participate. The annual contest is aimed at promoting culture and raising the level of literacy in
the society.

About Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-
speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s,
American companies helped discover the country’s oil and natural gas resources, which only
within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is
now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The
country will host the 2011 Summit of the African Union. For more information, visit


This has been distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. More
information on this relationship is on file at the United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

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