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Regional News of Monday, 21 July 2003

Source: GNA

Literacy contributes to national development- GILLBT

Tamale, July 21, GNA- Mr Justin Frempong, Executive Director of The Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT) in-charge of Northern Ghana, has emphasized the importance of literacy in national development.

He said for the country to achieve its ambition of becoming a middle-income country and to attract foreign investors, there was the need for majority of its populace to be literate.

Mr Frempong was speaking at the 31st Annual General Meeting of the Institute in Tamale on Sunday.

The meeting brought together delegates from all over the country and representatives from Togo, Benin and the United Kingdom (UK).

Mr Sylvester Nkrumah, Assistant Director for Language Projects of GILLBT, said the institute translates 33 English Literature into some Ghanaian Languages.

He said the institute had translated 15 and 12 versions of the old and new testaments into local languages respectively.

"We have continued the policy of grass-root participation as we work in partnership with local churches, communities, NGOs and government agencies to achieve this objective," he said.

Mr Nkrumah said as a result of the literacy project, learners in the training programme, had increased from 34,919 last year to 38,632 this year representing 11 per cent increase.

He said women's membership also increased from 8,359 to 11,302 over the same period, representing a 35 percent increase.

He said the abridged version of the constitution had also been translated into some local languages to educate the people on their rights and responsibilities and hold their District Assemblies accountable on development projects in their communities.

Mr Humphery Torgbor, Executive Committee Member of the GILLBT, said the printing press of the Institute and its Accra and Tamale Guesthouses had contributed immensely to the financial standing of GILLBT. He said the three sectors had contributed about 400 million cedis, representing 18 percent of the general administrative budget.