Casablanca’s Parks Will Soon Feature Bookstalls and Reading Spaces

An example of a book kiosk.

Rabat – On Friday, August 2, the Urban District of Casablanca launched a call for tenders, looking for a company to  “construct reading kiosks in the public gardens of the city of Casablanca.”

Once the tenders are submitted, the selected company will be responsible for the construction and layout work of the kiosks, such as masonry, electrical connections, waterproofing, plumbing, carpentry, plastering, and painting.

There will be 16 of these outdoor reading spaces and kiosks, one in each area of the city.

The project will cost a total of MAD 1.8 million. Candidate companies have until September 17 to submit their bids.

The project follows a report from Morocco’s Social Economic and Environmental Council (CESE) in July that said that a concerted national strategy must be established to promote reading throughout life.

The report, entitled “Promoting Reading, an Urgency and Necessity” recommended that national conferences be held to develop an integrated and shared public policy that promotes reading.

Additionally, CESE proposed that local authorities across Morocco set aside a budget to promote reading, as well as to promote the production and distribution of books by putting in place incentives to support the publishing sector.

In Morocco, illiteracy is still prevalent, with 32.2% of Morocco’s population older than 10 years of age being considered illiterate. Illiteracy affects women more than men. 42.1% of Moroccan women and 22.1% of men were recorded as illiterate in 2014.

Rural populations are also more affected, with 57% of illiterate people coming from rural areas as opposed to the lower percentage of 43% from urban areas.

Although literacy has seen a dramatic rise in recent years, with an increase of 12% between 2009 and 2015, there is still a long way to go.

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