GENEVA, Switzerland,17 June, 2022,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) – a grant-giving program co-led by Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organization and the International Publishers Association (IPA) – has selected five new projects across Africa to receive part of US $200,000 in funding in 2022 aimed at fostering a love of recreational reading among visually impaired and print disabled children and young people.
This is the third iteration of the APIF program, which is funded by a multiyear, USD 800,000 donation from Dubai Cares. The APIF Committee, chaired by IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi and comprising renowned publishers from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and South Africa, selected the winners from scores of applications submitted from 18 African countries.
African publishing is steeply tilted towards textbooks – up to 90% of sales in some markets – with reading typically associated with education, and not recreation. The closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact on government purchasing of textbooks, exposed the vulnerability of the publishing sector in African markets.
The initiatives that will receive APIF funding 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
- OliveSeed, Kenya
- PRAESA, South Africa
- Yanbow Al Kitab, Morocco
IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi said: ‘Since 2019, the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund has been honoured to breathe life into projects that bring solutions to numerous challenges linked to books and reading. As part of Dubai Cares’ support this year, we are directing APIF financing towards reading for pleasure and accessibility, both being priorities with the power to unlock the literary landscape to everyone, regardless of level of education or ability.’
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman at Dubai Cares said: ‘Reading is one of the most important skills children and youth can acquire as it opens doors to a whole new world of knowledge, wisdom and learning. Our support to 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 visually impaired young readers and provide access to books for disadvantaged children and young people. We are very proud of our partnership with IPA, which has helped place inclusivity at the core of their global agenda and the launch of this program has served as an extension of IPA’s leading role in reviving the culture of reading in the world.’
*2022 projects in detail:
In its Read with the Stars project, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) will enlist celebrities and sports stars to catalyse a reading culture in African schools and homes through read aloud and publicity campaigns in major African cities.
Book Aid International, Uganda and Zimbabwe
Book Aid International’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 organise reading promotion events for local publishers, head teachers, teachers, children, parents, education ministers and other stakeholders.
Working with the Maasai community living in badly disadvantaged Narok Country, near the Maasai Mara National Reserve, OliveSeed Kenya is developing educational programs and learning resource centres at school, each with a well-stocked library.
PRAESA, South Africa
Non-profit organization PRAESA will seek to deepen the impact of reading aloud to children through free webinars and written guides to teach adults how to select the right books, read in an engaging way and use stories to stimulate imagination and critical thinking.
Yanbow Al Kitab, Morocco
Children’s publisher Yanbow Al Kitab, will give mini libraries to 300 low-income Moroccan families with young children. They will contain 22 books, access to clips of readings by storytellers, and tips for parents on how to optimize read-aloud time with children.
APIF to train African publishers in accessible book production and bring new works to readers
In the second half of 2022, the APIF will work with the international DAISY Consortium to facilitate and fund the production of accessible works in multiple African markets.
This will be the final iteration of the APIF project and will give rise to 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 serve the literary needs of thousands of children, especially those belonging to underserved linguistic minorities.
More information about this programme, which represents a departure from the previous iterations of the APIF, will be made public in the coming weeks.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF)
About the African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF)
The APIF is a four-year, USD 800,000 fund provided by Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organization, and administered by the IPA. The decision to incentivize learning innovations to help African students pursue their education followed the confinement measures imposed worldwide in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 190 countries had to close schools and universities, affecting more than 1.5 billion school-aged children – around 90% of the world’s student population.
About the International Publishers Association (IPA)
The IPA is the world’s largest federation of publishers associations with 83 members in 69 countries. Established in 1896, the IPA is an industry body with a human rights mandate. The IPA’s mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and numerous international NGOs, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.
About Dubai Cares:
Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 21 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.
Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Moreover, Dubai Cares adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrollment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools.
Dubai Cares is a member of the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), as well as a registered non-government organization under IACAD, the charitable activities regulator in Dubai. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization is authorized to raise funds through direct donations and fundraising campaigns, as well as process all permit approvals with IACAD.
Volunteerism is a powerful tool to Dubai Cares in order to engage people in tackling development challenges. Dubai Cares rallies the UAE wider community through a large spectrum of volunteering and awareness initiatives that are linked to its global mandate.