Kofi Annan on literacy
According to Mr. Kofi Annan, acquiring literacy is an empowering process that "helps millions of people to access knowledge and information which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life".
According to Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat and the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations (January 1997 to December 2006), "literacy is a bridge from misery to hope." Annan considers it as a defensive wall against poverty, and a step towards development. It is a vehicle for promotion of cultural and national identity and an agent of family health and nutrition. To him, "literacy is the road to progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential." It is essential in every society and economy for maintaining sustained social and economic development. Literacy reduces the gender gap and helps to build a nation without any tribal and ethnic differences. "It is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection."