Reading is the cornerstone of academic success, and “finding ways to engage pupils in reading may be one of the most effective ways to leverage social chang.” If children leave primary school with a strong foundation of literacy skills, they will be ready for a lifetime of reading and learning that will furnish the knowledge and inspiration they need to further improve their economic competitiveness, health, civic engagement and quality of life.
In an effort to develop and foster such a culture of reading among children and adults throughout Rwanda, the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) through the Rwanda Education Board (REB) and in cooperation with development partners (DPs) launched the Soma Rwanda/ Rwanda Reads initiative in July 2012. The habit of reading can play a significant role in achieving the objectives of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 by empowering the citizens of Rwanda to independently seek and access print materials. Also aimed at improving literacy and language outcomes among students, Rwanda Reads is fully in line with the Education Sector Strategic Plan (2018/19-2023/24) which explicitly outlines priorities and policy actions targeting the acquisition of literacy skills among Rwandan primary and secondary school students.
Reads seeks to support, facilitate, and promote efforts to create literate citizens of Rwanda more capable of influencing their own individual achievement, economic growth, and better health - all of which will contribute to the overall development and prosperity of the country. By investing in the readers of today, Rwanda Reads supports the leaders of tomorrow.
The guiding framework for Soma Rwanda/Rwanda Reads focuses on identifying and overcoming capacity gaps and analyzing supply and demand among stakeholders. The following graphic illustrates how various activities contribute to this initiative.
 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Reading for Change – Performance and Engagements Across Countries, results from PISA, 2000, p. 3