This post is also available in: العربية

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD) and the UAE Board on Books for Young people (UAEBBY), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, to boost the contributions of the UAE’s youth community to its creative industries sector and promote a culture of reading in children and youth.

The MoU was signed by HE Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Arts and Heritage at MCKD; and Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY on the side-lines of the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2019).

The agreement is born out of a mutual understanding that the UAE’s youth community need stronger support in developing their capacities in writing, publishing and visual arts. The MoU stipulates that both parties will promote educational content designed for the youth and increase their access to quality books, in addition to offering literary materials.

The Ministry will be rolling out targeted national programmes that reflect global best practices in cooperation with the UAEBBY. This will include the designing and launching of skill incubators and accelerators by MCKD, as well as the identification and implementation of laws and legislations needed to organise the talent sector in the UAE. Furthermore, MCKD will liase with other ministries and stakeholders to develop a unique cultural education curricula to shape the future growth of pro-youth creative industries.

The UAEBBY will play a central role in offering the required support to MCKD to discover young talents in children’s and young adult literature, and build their capabilities to enhance their creative output.

Commenting on the signing of the new agreement, His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Arts and Heritage, said: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY).”

“This MoU underpins our commitment to communicate directly with publishers and to nurture a generation passionate about reading and the arts, and we will be working closely with them to launch a series of programmes and activities to engage with the youth community. This partnership is a true expression of our shared vision to create a solid infrastructure that encourages and streamlines the efforts of national talent in the fields of literature, publishing and visual arts,” he added.

For her part, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said: “We are keen to provide our best support to boost the young generation’s access to culture and knowledge. We have been successful in launching several programmes over the last few years to encourage interaction between children and books and develop the capacities of the creatively-inclined youth, and our achievements turn a new leaf today, with the establishment of a significant new partnership with MCKD.”

MCKD and the UAEBBY will be organising training workshops under the latter’s ‘Books – Made in the UAE’ project, which has been boosting  encourage the creation of Emirati-made children’s and young adult books since 2012. MCKD will be deploying its resources to promote, market and provide cultural centres to host these workshops.

The signatories also agreed on making a visual art production to be launched in conjunction with the UAEBBY’s ‘Read, Dream, Create’ campaign. The UAEBBY will supervise the production process and organise specialised training workshops targeting professionals who work with children and young adults in children’s literature.