Accra, 1 October, 2014 – Blessing and Chris are both students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and the University of Professional Studies respectively. Both schools are based in Accra. However, neither of them has stepped in any of the UN offices in search of information about the United Nations. For Blessing and Chris, the UN is a distant organization.
It is to demystify this conception and to make information about the United Nations easily accessible to the general public, including students that the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, with support from all the UN agencies and the Resident Coordinator’s Office, embarked on the ‘UN Books on Wheels’ project. The project aims to decentralize access to UN research materials and other literature and place them within the reach of Ghanaians. The project has been launched at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra. The event was attended by students and representatives from 10 institutions of higher learning.
The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Cynthia Prah in her opening statement stressed on the need to provide a means of research into evolving global trends especially concerning the United Nations and its functions; what it stands for and on its work. On how the project will unfold, she explained that participating libraries will have a ‘UN corner’ which will be branded as such and stocked with UN literature in hard copies, and access to soft copies.
The UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms Susan Namondo Ngongi, expressed a desire for Ghanaians to better understand and relate with the United Nations , adding that the project will help achieve that.
The Guest of Honour and Deputy Minister for Communications, Ato Sarpong , lauded the United Nations for defining and redefining the global development agenda since its inception seven decades ago. He expressed support for ‘UN Books on Wheels’ and outlined the government’s efforts to make information easily accessible to the general public. He also hoped that the project will spark the interest of more Ghanaians in the affairs of the United Nations and hopefully produce the next ‘Kofi Annan’.
At the end of the launch, Blessing expressed excitement at the opportunity to access information about the UN with ease and hoped that the resources will be extended with time to all district libraries to enable her gain access to information anywhere in the country. For Chris, the sustainability of the project was his concern, citing the immense help it will be to his studies and many other Ghanaians if the project was to be sustained for a longer period.
Participants were later taken on a tour of the ‘UN Corner’ of the International Peace Keeping library of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College following the official opening of the corner. The institutions were later presented with some UN publications and UNIC Accra designed UN-labeled posters.