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Akwa Ibomite Named Among World’s Top 30 Under 30 Literacy Leaders


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An Akwa Ibom son, Enwono-Abasi Francis has been selected as one of the World’s Top 30 Under 30 Literacy Leaders.

Francis, a Librarian who hails from Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was selected and honoured by the International Literacy Association for his work in literacy development in West Africa.

Francis, 24 years of age is the only Nigerian selected for the 2020 honours. He is also the second youngest selected along other four Africans.

Other Africans honoured are Jimmie Chengo from Kenya, Cedric Christian Ngnaoussi from Ghana, Simpson Muhwezi from Uganda, and Josephine Lichaha, from Zambia.

According to the International Literacy Association, Enwongo-Abasi Francis is
” a rising literacy advocate in Nigeria,
Enwongo-Abasi Francis has a zeal
for creating a sustainable reading
culture in his community. He began
speaking about literacy promotion as a
teenager, and he’s implemented various
advocacy programs to increase literacy,
including a seminar for families and
caregivers to engage their children in
reading, counseling for students, and
programs to eradicate illiteracy in his

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Francis is quoted by the organization as stating “My day is not complete if
I don’t take action to advance the cause
of sustainable literacy development in the society. It has been a journey
full of impact and purpose.”

Recent literacy materials to Francis’ credit are: Preponderant development and strategic management experience with children literacy and library related programs, Excellent understanding of children basic literacy skills, development and practices,
and Strong knowledge of local, regional and international regulations for child rights advocacy.

Others are Outstanding problem solving, analytical skills and creative thinking abilities and Superior expertise in School and Community librarianship and children literacy development.

In their statement, the International Literacy Association said ” There’s no denying that 2020 was a year for the books, one that challenged our societies in innumerable ways. But
the strife of global issues—including
a pandemic, social justice reform, and
climate concerns, to name a few—
didn’t deter our accomplished group
of leaders from continuing to enact
change across their classrooms and the

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The Organization noted that for those honoured, literacy is not only a
means to knowledge but also a pathway
to a more inspired, equitable, and
tolerant society.

while commending the World’s Top 30 Under 30 Literacy Leaders for their work, the Association Insisted that the future of literacy is bright thanks to the work of 2020 class of ILA 30 Under 30 honorees.

Francis’ profile indicates that he has already been honoured with Conferment Award as Readership Advocate of Nigeria (RAN) by ESAN,
Literacy Development Icon Award by SOREPCHY Africa, Covid-19 Hero Award by Young Leaders of Africa ( YOLEAF) and Pacesetter Awardee on grassroot Literacy by the DE Joseph Society.

By Ekemini Simon

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