Minister McDonald : "Look towards new sources of wealth"
The creative pulse of Trinidad and Tobago can be harnessed to provide alternative sources of revenue for the country. This was the message relayed at an appreciation ceremony under the Bocas Lit Fest schedule of events on Wednesday.
“As you would recall, Vision 2030 speaks to ‘Putting People First: Nurturing Our Greatest Asset’. That underscores the Government’s pledge to pursue information and knowledge as our new form of energy,” said Minister of Public Administration and Communications Marlene McDonald to First-Time Authors.
McDonald noted that in a time of falling energy prices and revenues, the country must look towards new sources of wealth. As the Minister with responsibility for libraries, she reassured the authors that the Government not only values their work but encourages it.
“In a world facing turmoil, crisis and challenges to human rights we once took for granted, the stories you tell through your books are needed now more than ever. They are your tools to explore, self-examine, question and add to the global conversation.”
Forty-five First Time Authors were honoured by the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) at the Audio-Visual Room at NALIS on Wednesday. The event is part of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest schedule and seeks to celebrate the efforts of authors who wrote their first book between January to December 2017.
Books, according to Minister McDonald, provide a reservoir of inspiration and are tools of empowerment, records of history, teaching aides and an escape to new worlds. She said literature has the power to shape perspectives, influence culture, habits and thought patterns.
“Moreover, we believe that books written by locals provide an opportunity to tell the Trinidad and Tobago story like no one else can. It’s an outlook on this country which adds validity to our experiences”.
The Minister explained that while having a wide repertoire is indispensable, equally as empowering is the importance of being exposed to work done by local authors. She reminded the authors of the power of their pen, telling them that their voices and perspectives mattered and can endure the test of time.
Up to 303 new authors have been celebrated since the introduction of the First-Time Authors programme in 2010.
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