Abuja - The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has commended the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) for its plan to host a conference to honour the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe.
Maku gave the commendation while receiving a delegation, led by the Secretary-General of the Association, Prof. Atukwei Okai, in Abuja on Thursday.
Maku said that Achebe was a source of inspiration to many generations of African writers and activists, adding that the literary giant was ‘worthy of any kind of honour.’
“We are highly elated to hear that African writers have decided to devote the forth coming international conference to Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s foremost novelists.”
“Achebe has inspired generations of African writers to write with confidence, to tell the African story from the African perspective.”
“We see Achebe not just as a Nigerian and African but a humanist and an international citizen.”
“We thank you for this honour you are doing to Achebe and by implication to Nigeria, Africa and the world."
The minister said that Achebe was the first to put African literature on the global scene, noting that he would have won a Nobel Prize but for his style of writing.
Okai said that the delegation was at the ministry to invite the minister to participate in the conference in Accra, Ghana.
He said that November 7, was set aside in 1991 by African Ministers of Culture as ‘International African Writers’ Day’ to appreciate the contributions of African writers to the development of the continent.
Okai said that the association had decided to dedicate this year’s International conference titled, ‘The Coming of Age of African Literature,’ to appreciate the life and works of Achebe."
He described Achebe as the ‘Watershed which African literature began to emerge on to the consciousness of the people of the world.'
Okai promised that the conference would do justice to ‘the memory of the great African son and let the people know how well we appreciate this citizen of the world.’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference will run from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8.