Former Minister of State Supports 2018 GAW Awards

Photo credit: U.S. Embassy

Mr Kojo Yankah, a former Minister of State, has donated GHC 20, 000 to the Ghana Writers Association (GAW) towards the organisation of its 2018 awards.

He said the donation was his widow’s mite to support young up and coming Ghanaian writers to better their lot.

“Aspiring Ghanaian writers need a lot of support and inspirations. I have always wondered what is going to happen to those who have so much talent and yet cannot find their way round. And so those who are able to get through their scripts to get published should get added incentives,” Mr Yankah said at the GAW meeting in Accra.

“We have had writers, who write only one book and then that is all, because they don’t get the motivation. And this is my modest contribution to support that [cause],” he added.

Mr Yankah, who is also the founder and President of the African University College of Communications, recently launched his book titled: “Our Motherland-My Life”.

The 232-page book provides useful life lessons for all Ghanaians and pan-Africanists.

The book recounts Mr Yankah’s life journey and provided graphic detail of his life as a Public Servant, Minister of State, Member of
Parliament and Editor, as well as his family relations, entrepreneurship, charity work and travels round the world.

It also gives vivid accounts of the author’s life principles, deep ills of the Ghanaian society and lessons that should be learnt by both the younger and the older generations to engender national development.

A quote from the book reads: “My life journey has been daunting, challenging, rough, tough, critical, unmarked and unscripted, but I have overcome all odds to inspire my children and make a difference in the lives of many others and I can only share slides of this in this book with a smile”.

Mr Yankah, who gave an overview of the book said: “It’s very important that we support book writing. Part of the reason for engaging in what I just produced, ‘My Motherland’ was to give opportunity for those who have served this country to put down their memoires.

Our children don’t have role models. They look out for inspirations. But all the inspiration is here.”

“We have produced literature since independence to the very highest level and a few of our writers have attained international acclaim, but that is not enough,” he said.

He said many books that have being written by Ghanaians and African’s were not available on the continent; adding that “they are elsewhere”.

He said part of the reasons he wrote the book was to share all in the experiences that he had gained in public life and private life.

Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, the President of GAW, lauded Mr Yankah for the kind gesture.

At the event, “A Nightmare” by Agnes Gyening Asiedu published by Sub-Saharan Publishers, won the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education’s (CODE’s) Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature (BAAYAL) in Ghana.

Other national finalists, in no particular order include Ebony Girl by Vera Akumiah; To Kiss A Girl, by Ruby Yahyra Goka and Leo’s Time by Elizabeth Irene Baitie.

Out of the 13 entries received there was no fifth competitor, because the rest of the entries could not meet the selection criteria.

Nana Gyan-Apenteng and Mr Yankah, jointly presented the award of One Thousand Canadian Dollars to Mrs Gyening Asiedu in Accra.

Sponsored by CODE and make possible by the generosity of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Burt Award addresses an ongoing shortage of relevant, quality books for young people while promoting a love of reading and learning at the upper primary and secondary school levels.

The Award, launched in Tanzania in 2008, has since expanded in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Canada and the Caribbean.
CODE’s Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature is an English language, multi-country prize, supported by smaller national prizes that determine the works eligible for the grand prize.

Mrs Genevieve Eba-Polley, the Executive Director, Ghana Book Trust, said the objective of the award was to provide the African youth with access to engaging, high quality, culturally relevant reading materials.


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