Sharjah24: The Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) – a grant program co-led by Dubai Cares, a global philanthropic organization based in the United Arab Emirates and the International Publishers Association (IPA) – has selected five new projects across the Africa to receive a portion of US$200,000 in funding in 2022 aimed at fostering a love of recreational reading among visually impaired and print-disabled children and youth.
This is the third iteration of the APIF program, which is funded by a multi-year grant of USD 800,000 from Dubai Cares. The APIF committee, chaired by IPA President Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and made up of renowned publishers from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa, selected the winners from among dozens nominations submitted by 18 African countries.
African publishing is heavily biased towards textbooks – up to 90% of sales in some markets – with reading generally associated with education, not leisure. The closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact on public purchases of textbooks have highlighted the vulnerability of the publishing sector in African markets.
The initiatives that will receive funding from APIF to help millions of young Africans fall in love with reading are*:
• Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Pan-Africa
• Book Aid International, Uganda and Zimbabwe
• Olive seed, Kenya
• PRAESA, South Africa
• Yanbow Al Kitab, Morocco
IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi said, “Since 2019, the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund has been honored to bring to life projects that provide solutions to many challenges related to books and reading. . As part of Dubai Cares support this year, we are directing APIF funding towards reading for enjoyment and accessibility, two priorities with the power to open up the literary landscape to all, regardless of skill level. education or abilities.
Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Managing Director and Vice President of Dubai Cares, said: “Reading is one of the most important skills children and young people can learn, as it opens doors to a whole new world. of knowledge, wisdom and learning. Our support for the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) in 2022, through our partnership with the International Publishers Association (IPA), enables us to promote a love of reading among young visually impaired readers and provide access to books to disadvantaged children and young people. We are very proud of our partnership with the IPA, which has helped put inclusivity at the heart of their global program and the launch of this program has served as an extension of the IPA’s leading role in reviving reading culture around the world.
*2022 projects in detail:
Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Pan-Afrique In its Reading with the Stars project, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) will recruit celebrities and sports stars to catalyze a culture of reading in African schools and homes through reading. aloud and advertising campaigns in major African cities.
Book Aid International, Uganda and Zimbabwe’s African Story Box will bring books to children and encourage reading for pleasure. The money will target 24 primary schools in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Book Aid will also organize reading promotion events for local publishers, head teachers, teachers, children, parents, education ministers and other stakeholders.
OliveSeed, Kenya Working with the Maasai community living in the highly deprived country of Narok, near the Maasai Mara National Reserve, OliveSeed Kenya is developing educational programs and school-based learning resource centers, each with a library well stocked.
PRAESA, South Africa The non-profit organization PRAESA will seek to deepen the impact of reading aloud on children through free webinars and written guides to teach adults how to select the right books, read engaging way and using stories to stimulate imagination and critical thinking. .
Yanbow Al Kitab, Morocco Children’s publisher Yanbow Al Kitab will provide mini-libraries to 300 low-income Moroccan families with young children. They will contain 22 books, access to excerpts from storytelling readings and tips for parents to optimize read-aloud time with children.
APIF will train African publishers to produce accessible books and bring new works to readers
During the second half of 2022, APIF will work with the international consortium DAISY to facilitate and finance the production of accessible works in several African markets.
This will be the latest iteration of the APIF project and will spawn a new canon of accessible works that will reach blind, visually impaired and otherwise print-disabled African readers. The accessible books produced will have the potential to meet the literary needs of thousands of children, especially those from underserved linguistic minorities.
More information about this program, which represents a break from previous iterations of APIF, will be made public in the coming weeks.