Goma: Library on Sustainable Development, free and accessible to all!

Apr 28, 2017

On Wednesday, 19 April, the UNDP in Goma officially opened its Library on Sustainable Development. It is a new opportunity for Goma residents from all walks of life to get informed for free about subjects related to development. The event was attended by the UNDP DRC Country Director as well as representatives from United Nations organizations, universities and graduate schools in Goma.


The UNDP is committed to encouraging and supporting innovative initiatives through a fund known as the Local Innovation Fund. Launched in 2016, the fund is dedicated to implementing innovative ideas put forward and executed by the staff. The idea of creating a library on sustainable development was proposed within this framework. Through the efforts of the UNDP team, the continued support of the Local Innovation Committee and the demonstration of solidarity from colleagues during the campaign for donations, the library now has 354 books in its collection.


The library is designed to be a place for exchange and discussion. It provides access to reading and contributes to educational, cultural and personal enrichment for the beneficiaries, particularly for young people. That is why the diverse collection of publications will be available to users and is targeting students.


Ms. Priya Gajraj, UNDP Country Director, said to the press that: “This library, which is free and open to all, encourages people to read. One of the UNDP mandates is capacity development. With this place, we hope to boost training for young people as the future of the DRC.”


Biny, a spokesperson for students from the Institut Supérieur de Management des Grand Lacs, confirmed the interest in Goma’s new place of learning: “This new library is a place that facilitates student research as part of their studies. Browsing through the shelves, I found important books on business, leadership – all the subjects that interest me. In Goma, young people love to read but there are not enough libraries, and none of the ones offering scientific books are free of charge. Students don’t have the means to buy books either. So, this new library on sustainable development, which is free and was launched by the UNDP, is an opportunity for us, the young people. One suggestion for the development of this space would be, in the future, to broaden the subjects by including technical and practical titles, like mechanics.”


The library aims to strengthen national capacity regarding sustainable development and improve access to knowledge and social responsibility. Reading is an agent of change which should be accessible to all without leaving anyone behind. In this perspective, access to the library will be through membership that is completely free, allowing all those who wish to become members to do so.


The library was made possible thanks to the efforts of Guylaine, a student intern at the UNDP who is enthusiastic and passionate about reading:

“The book Postcard by Congolese author Zamenga Baukenzanga made me passionate about reading because I found it very amusing. Since then I haven’t stopped reading, especially classic literature and detective novels. I have started up my own library at home. Here, I could develop my skills by setting up the classification system and the materials search in the Library on Sustainable Development. The next steps will be to expand the collection of books and implement a user-satisfaction monitoring system to continue improving this place.”


The library is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the UNDP office in Goma, on Avenue des Orchidées.

 Article Translated by Samantha Neil


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