By Edmund Mingle
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
The Pan-African Writers’ Association (PAWA) and the German Writers’ Union (GWU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote literary works between Africa and Germany and also improve the welfare of members of the two bodies.
The agreement, which was signed on Monday in Accra after a two-day meeting between the leadership of the two groups, enjoins them to cooperate on a wider range of common cultural concerns towards strengthening the cultural and artistic bonds between the respective associations.
It also tasks PAWA and GWU to encourage translation, publication, promotion, distribution, marketing and sale of each other’s literary works on their respective markets, and to collaborate for joint publications and other literary activities.
Professor Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General of PAWA, and Imre Torok, President of GWU, signed the agreement for their respective organisa-tions.
The meeting, which had the theme: "Writers meeting in Accra: Looking ahead," provided a platform for discussing challenges in the literature industry and finding solutions to them.
Topics discussed included "The relevance of literature in modern African society", "the rights of writers", "the role of Writers’ Association," and "Intercultural dialogue."
Prof. Okai commended GWU for reaching out to its colleagues in Africa; a move he noted, would enhance mutual cultural appreciation and exchange between the two groups.
Mr Torok commended PAWA’s willingness to co-operate, stressing that the relationship would help bridge the cultural gap between Africa and Europe.
He described the meeting as "a good beginning to a successful intercultural dialogue" between the two bodies.
To demonstrate PAWA’s appreciation to the visitors, Prof. Okai presented a wooden stool – a symbol of authority – and a carving of a drummer – depicting a symbol for communication – to Mr. Torok, for his union.
The GWU reciprocated the gesture with the presentation of a set of children’s novels and a giant pen (a symbol of the power of a writer) to Prof. Okai for PAWA.