The Pan African Literacy for All Conference (PALFA) hitherto known as Pan-African Reading for All (PARFA) is the biggest, most popular, most interactive and most enriching global literacy event in Africa.
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This biennial literacy conference has assumed an unprecedented scope and significance bringing together government agencies and institutions, researchers, educators, publishers, librarians, international development workers and donor agencies from across the globe to interface and collaborate on literacy development in African. By adopting multi-stakeholder dimension in sharing ideas, researchers, evidence-based best practices in literacy and literacy-related instructional and assessment delivery processes as well as the challenges of literacy acquisition and sustainability in African, PALFA recognises that literacy challenges affecting African nations are different and context-specific across gender, age, education and socio-economic levels.
The themes of the previous PALFA conferences so far held underscore the critical role of literacy in nation building. The extent to which nations are successful or otherwise is a factor of acquisition and application of functional literacy skills by the citizenry.
The conference has journeyed through Africa identifying and exploring different themes as follows:
- Pretoria, South Africa, 1999: Reading among children.
- Abuja, Nigeria, 2001: The role of communities in building a reading culture.
- Kampala, Uganda, 2003: Analysing and surmounting factors impeding the transmission and use of literacy skills.
- Ezulwini, Swaziland, 2005: Exploring the connection between literacy and sustainable development.
- Accra, Ghana, 2007: Literacy for Liberation
- Dar es Salam, Tanzania, 2009: Literacy for community-based socio-economic transformation and development
- Gaborone, Botswana 2011: The reader, an empowered leader.
- Nairobi, Kenya, 2013: Literacy for all: Leading the way to literacy excellence.
- Cape Town, South Africa, 2015: Imagination and literacy: Theory and practice.
The choice of this conference theme for the 10th edition is inspired by the need to interrogate the systems, policies and structures designed to entrench literacy culture for sustainable development in and among Africans within the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to think through holistic approaches to providing inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels, especially for the girl child.
- To bring together literacy leaders in Africa to interrogate ways of connecting and engaging with literacies and approaches to literacy development
- To provide opportunities for stakeholders to identify and establish evidence-driven measures to spur Africans to connect and engage with literacies for sustainable development across gender.
- To open platforms for sharing innovations in literacy practices in the formal and non-formal learning environment.
- To leverage on new tools and technologies which support literacy for sustainable development
- To share reading and literacy research and projects which address education achievement gaps and maximise reading, literacy and learning outcomes in Afric
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