South African President launches virtual book club

South African President, Ramaphosa launches a virtual book club where South Africans can engage with books that the President will reccomend and share their views directly with him.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reading circle, an offshoot of the National Reading Coalition (NRC), offers book lovers a chance to get lost in the world of books and share their views on books with the President through the chat service on the site.

“The President’s Reading Circle is a home for passionate, veteran readers and those who are in the first thralls of their exploration with words and ideas.This is where we share current and past reads; where we complement and critique writers and their readers, and where we engage with seriousness and fun for the sake of building a community around reading and all it inspires,” said the spokesperson of the National Reading Coalition

The reading circle is an attempt from Ramaphosa, a champion reader and published author, to expand the reading culture of South Africans by helping South Africans experience and indulge in the joy of reading.

In his State of the Nation Address in June, President Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of cultivating a reading nation to unlock opportunities that flow from a broadened understanding of the country and the world.

In 2016, South Africa was ranked last out of 50 countries in the Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS) study which tested reading comprehension of Grade 4 learners. The study found that 78% of South African pupils at this level could not read for meaning. Additionally, in South Africa 5 000 book sales make a bestseller, cementing the poor levels of reading.

The reading circle seeks to address South Africa’s
debilitating reading culture.

Source:, photo credit: Aljazeera
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