The British Council’s Digital Library was launched on Thursday, August 31, under the direction of Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s Minister of State for Development and Africa.
This initiative is a part of the UK’s attempts to make educational resources “available to all.”
Mitchel, who is on a four-day visit to Rwanda, praised the new initiative and noted that libraries in local communities serve as doors to information and culture.
Mitchell remarked at the launch, “First of all, I am impressed by the excellent Kigali public library, and I had the opportunity to look at the area and, in fact, buy a couple of books for my recently arrived grandchild.
The British Council, he continued, “does fantastic work all over the world, but never more so than here in Rwanda and in Kigali. I want to pay tribute to them.”
More than 80,000 educational and entertainment items, including books and e-books, movies, music, audiobooks, and research papers, are available at the library, which is anticipated to be open for 12 months at no cost to users.
“They give people access to resources and knowledge. Additionally, libraries serve as meeting places, promote a range of academic and learning goals, and safeguard cultural heritage.
As a result of his return trip to Kigali, Mitchell stated that “tremendously been achieved.”
“I’ve visited this place more than 20 times in the past almost 20 years. And every time I observe how well Rwanda as a whole and Kigali in particular are progressing.
“We should employ online library spaces to further increase access to resources and reading material in the contemporary digital world. from a variety of civilizations and sources. The numerous advantages and justifications for users in Rwanda to sign up for the British Council’s digital library are something I wish to underline. Reading is convenient because it can be done anytime, anywhere, and even while traveling.
He added that “the chance to expedite learning and career progress is equally significant. It offers a chance to grow. By accessing English learning resources from the world’s leading English specialists, users can gain new and excellent abilities and increase their confidence in utilizing the English language.
“It is incredible that such a wide variety of top-notch resources from the UK and other nations are now accessible from your phone with the use of an app, from online study resources to well-liked eBooks and audiobooks to award-winning movies and documentaries.”
In a similar development, Mitchell gave the managers of the Kigali Public Library a copy of his book about Rwanda.
“I reflect on the book I wrote a year ago. There is a lot about what I observed and learnt in Rwanda in the book, so if you don’t mind, I’d want to present a signed copy to the library. So I’m hoping you’ll let me do it.
Following the launch, Claudette Irere, a minister of state in the Ministry of Education, praised the British Council and declared that her team was dedicated to spreading the technology outside the boundaries of the Kigali Public Library.
“The British Council continues to prioritize the education sector with this addition. Additionally, it supports the Kigali Public Library’s efforts to foster a reading culture among children.
“We know that younger generations prefer visual and audio copies of books while slightly older generations prefer hard copies. This is quite useful. It should be shared throughout the nation rather than remaining within the confines of the public library in Kigali.
The new digital public library, according to author and publisher Alonga Dominique Uwase, is a significant improvement for Rwanda’s educational system.
“I hope it inspires people to read more and learn more about the language. Being in the Kigali Public Library is amazing, and having a facility like this really helps people flourish. Because, as you can see, the majority of novels are likely to be published outside of Rwanda, I hope that Rwandans can now consider writing for themselves. So perhaps as the years go by, we’ll have more content from Rwanda and more freelance writers who develop both their professionalism and storytelling talents.
Uwase, the founder of Imagine We Rwanda, one of the biggest commercial publishing firms in the nation, stated that the development gives Rwandan authors an opportunity.
I believe it is beneficial since some of these authors will now have a place to publish their works. I am aware that many of the people that contact us do not necessarily have the financial means to go through the complete publication process. However, if there were more resources available, they would be more motivated to invest in, study, and develop this talent.
Over 30 novels by various authors have been published under the name Imagine We Rwanda.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with the MasterCard Foundation, and as a result, 2000 authors will be trained in Rwanda. We therefore anticipate the country experiencing great things.