USAID and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa launch Global Book Alliance workshop in Africa

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From: 22/01/2018
To: 25/01/2018
Location: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
USAID and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa launch Global Book Alliance workshop in Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners launched the Global Book Alliance (GBA) initiative in an effort to transform and advance current school book design, acquisition and distribution practices, especially in Africa and Asia, and to ensure that students have the books they need in their mother tongue – in order to learn how to read and read to understand.

As an implementation partner on the African continent, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), will provide its contribution to the launch and promotion of this initiative with actors of the book chain, teachers, educationists, communications specialists, and African decision-makers. To this end, the ADEA’s Working Group on Books and Learning Material (WGBLM) will organize, in close collaboration with the Global Book Alliance and USAID, a series of field activities across the continent.

The WGBLM will organize a regional workshop that will bring together representatives from 10 Francophone African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal) and from 10 English-speaking African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). Each country will be represented by a delegation of three people: a representative of the Ministry of Basic Education, a textbook or national language reader publisher, and a national language author in these same languages.

The Abidjan workshop, will be held on the premises of the African Development Bank Group in the auditorium of the Abidjan International Trade Centre (CCIA) Building in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from January 22 to 25, 2018. The workshop will also be a step in sensitization and advocacy for the Global Book Alliance itself and for the need to institute innovative and effective mechanisms within countries for the production, acquisition, distribution, management and use of textbooks and other reading materials in national languages to establish a solid and sustainable groundwork for the quality education of our youth.

The key motivation for setting up the Global Book Alliance is linked to the acute shortage of appropriate and attractive reading materials in the mother tongue, which impedes improvements in children’s reading skills. Children are often unable to practice reading in the language they speak and understand the most. Moreover, without adequate supply of quality reading material, it would be difficult to get girls and boys interested in reading as well as provide them with the possibility of practicing reading, or enable family members to read to them.

Reading is key to African youths’ success, and amply expressed in the quote: “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!”