On Wednesday June 15, Togolese Ambassador to the United States Frédéric HEGBE hosted the Annual Books for Africa Summit Society Reception, the first in nearly three years.

The event took place at the Ambassador’s residence in the Northwest Washington neighborhood of Crittenden, in sunshine and hot evening that proved an engaging, interactive event during which guests enjoyed Togolese cuisine and each other’s company as the nation makes progress in vaccination to square off the COVID-19 pandemic that has long kept people on home confinement.

Guests included Ambassadors from Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Benin and Mauritania, along with representatives of numerous NGOs interested in development efforts in Africa,

The evening provided an opportunity for the Leadership team at Books For Africa Summit Society to thank donors for their commitment in providing resources to help children in Africa as they struggle to gain access to education.

Since its inception, the organization has shipped more than 54 million books to the continent of Africa including computers and e-readers containing more than 885,000 digital books, to 28 countries, according to officials.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador HEGBE congratulated the Books For Africa team for all its work on the continent, particularly in Togo where education remains a priority of development.

He emphasized the importance of education in shaping for better the future of the society. But when it comes to reaching that goal, Ambassador HEGBE acknowledged there is long way to go and calls on donors to do more.

« On behalf of the Togolese government, and Togolese citizens, I would like to thank the honorable donors for their gifts and thank Books for Africa for choosing our beautiful country, The Republic of Togo for this experience,  » Ambassador said in his opening remarks.

« Although Books For Africa has made tremendous progress in its mission, the book famine in Africa remains a reality. Where books are available, there are still very few. Empty library shelves are a constant reminder of Africa’s desperate need for printed materials. »

« If we are to see the day when African school children have the books, they need to learn the skills to support themselves and others, Books For Africa must continue to send millions of books. That is why this year’s reception is exceptional and serves as a gesture of appreciation to honor the major donors to the Books for Africa Summit Society who have given resources to this cause. »

Books For Africa was created over a decade ago with help from worldwide donors. Its mission is to end « the books famine in Africa. »  Ben Bangoura