In collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Ghana, Writers Project of Ghana organised the fifth edition of “Pa Gya! A Literary Festival in Accra” from 15th October to 17th October 2021. The festival seeks to engage the general public on a literary platform, and to showcase writers and their craft. As such, various activities such as readings, panel discussions, poetry and story-telling sessions, book launches, the launch of literary prizes and performance of different literary forms are being planned for the two-day festival.
Muna Kalati’s Executive Director, Christian Elongué, was invited to intervene in a panel discussion on multilingual publishing in indigenous African languages on Sunday, 17th October 2021 together with Patron Kokou Henekou and Galley K. Dzifa.
After the very fruitful panel discussions, he had the opportunity to exchange virtually with Dr. Martin Egblewogbe, founder of Writers’ Project Ghana (WPG) and Pa Gya! Literary Festival and below are his impressions about the just ended festival and the WPG.
Could you tell us about Pa Gya! Literary Festival?
The literary festival is meant to bring about greater interactions of people involved in writing, books, and publishing and to help foster an increased interest in literature
Where did you get the idea to set up such an initiative?
The festival was created as a natural extension to the Writers Project of Ghana and Goethe-Institute Ghana’s long-running reading series since 2010. It is was a culmination of each year’s events of readings and interactions from the Writers Project of Ghana
What is its added value?
Writers Project of Ghana offers a unique perspective on literature programming across board.
What progress have been made to date?
The festival has grown considerably since its inception in 2017. The geographical span of invited writers and guests includes Ghana (primarily), the US, UK, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Cameroon, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Zambia, Canada, Singapore, etc
Are you collaborating with other entrepreneurs in your industry?
Writers Project collaborates widely with many other organisations working in books, literature and publishing in Ghana and outside Ghana.
What are your current sources of funding?
Writers Project of Ghana is run completely from funding and support received from agencies, individuals, and corporations.
What are the main challenges or difficulties you encounter in carrying out your project?
Funding remains the main challenge of the Writers Project of Ghana
How has the COVID-19 impacted your work? What measures did you developed to adapt and build resilience?
In response to Covid-19, Writers Project of Ghana moved to make our programmes available online as mixed-mode via social media platforms, and we also introduced online-only programming.
What support or assistance would you need to increase the impact of your initiative and accelerate its development?
WPG needs grant assistance to run.
What is the impact of your initiative on the promotion of reading and culture?
Writers Project of Ghana has had significant impact on literature activities since inception in 2010. From creating the longest running public reading series, a large international literature festival, a weekly radio show since 2009, several published books, a number of regular workshop series, WPG has a large and positive impact on the literature space in Ghana and is well known outside Ghana as well.