With the support of the Presidency, the Government of Rivers State and UNESCO Nigeria, Rainbow Book Club bidded for Port Harcourt to be UNESCO World Book Capital 2014. We beat 10 cities, including Oxford, to clinch the coveted title. The nomination is ‘an exclusive symbolic acknowledgment of the best programme dedicated to books and reading’. In the year of our tenure we successfully delivered 23 exciting programmes with a far reach to players in the book chain industry and the general public. Other World Book Capitals have included Alexandria (Egypt) in 2002, Antwerp (Belgium) in 2004, Montreal (Canada) in 2005 and Incheon (South Korea) in 2015.

An important outcome from the PHWBC programme is the now worldwide Bring Back Our Girls Campaign which was brought to public attention by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka in his  keynote address at the opening ceremony on April 23rd 2014 and which campaign was triggered off by Dr Obi Ezekwesili on the same platform. Thanks to social media, the campaign went viral, pulling in participation of world figures like Malala Yousafzai, David Cameron, and Michelle Obama

At the 365- day countdown Deputy Gov. of Rivers State H.E. Engr. Tele Ikuru addresses the press. To his far right is the Hon. Commisioner of Culture and Tourism Dr. Imegwu Nabbs, Hon. Commisioner for Information Ibim Semenitari, writer Pa Gabriel Okara, and to his left is Rainbow Book Club Trustee Mrs. Judy Nwanodi.
The Port Harcourt World Book Capital team at London Book Fair 2013. L-R; Effie White, Koko Kalango, Ngozi Obigwe and Iso Bassey
Nigerian Publishers Association representative Mr. Olawale Adebayo, Rainbow Book Club Founder & Project Director PHWBC Mrs. Koko Kalango, UNESCO representative Mr. Giovanni Fontana and Nigerian Booksellers Association representative, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi, at a press conference during Nigerian International Book Fair 2013.
Governor Amaechi addressing guests at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital stand at London Book Fair 2014. At the front row from left are Prof. Rasheed NaAllah, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Mrs. Koko Kalango.
R-L Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, Rev. W.D.C Wokoama, Mr Iso Bassey, Pastor Belemina Obunge and Pastor Clem Emekene at the dedication service
L-R, Mr. Kitchawenghul (Deputy Governorof Bangkok),Mrs. Amaechi, Gov. Amaechi, Gen. Abubakar, Mrs. Koko Kalango, Prof. Soyinka, Mrs. Ezekwesili and Ms. Wood (representing President Jonathan) at the official handover ceremony
Former President, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar delivers his address as Chairman of the occasion at the official handover ceremony
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka delivering the keynote address at the official hand over ceremony
Former Minister for Education and Vice President (Africa) World Bank and the Chairperson Rainbow Book Club Board of Trustees, Dr. Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili speaks at the official handover ceremony
Dep. Gov. of Bangkok, Mr. Amorn Kitchawenghul, officially handing over the WBC title to Gov. of Rivers State, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, on April 23 (UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day) 2014, Prof. Soyinka, Mrs Kalango and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar applaud
Cheers and celebration as Port Harcourt begins her reign as UNESCO World Book Capital 2014
Celebrity musicians L-R: Burna Boy, Waje, Timi Dakolo, Yemi Alade and Nonso Omoregie perform the PHWBC Theme song
Bangkok World Book Capital 2013 delegates
Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and Ms. Molara Wood (Representative of President Jonathan) at the International Literature and Culture Exhibition
Port Harcourt World Book Capital Presents at the Nigeria International Book Fair 2014
The reading session at the PHWBC stand, South African Book Fair 2014
Discussants and cross section of guests at the PHWBC conversation during Frankfurt Book Fair 2014
PHWBC delegation to Incheon World Book Capital 2015, led by Mrs Koko Kalango and Dr. George Nwaeke (Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Rivers State) with Mayor of Incheon, Mr. Yoo Jeong-Bok.
L-R Ms. Monica Umah (SPDC), Mrs Koko Kalango (PHWBC), Emmanuel Ekpenyong (SPDC) and Ms. Mayen Effiong (PHWBC), at the PHWBC closing ceremony. SPDC received an ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’