IPA invites project proposals to nurture Africa’s reading culture ‘beyond the classroom’ in 2022-2023
The International Publishers Association (IPA) will today begin accepting proposals for projects to develop reading culture beyond the classroom in Africa, with grants from the USD 200,000 Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) on offer to the best ideas.
African publishing leans heavily towards education – up to 90% of sales in some markets – with reading widely viewed exclusively as a means to further schooling or professional skills. In parallel, many African publishers are overdependent on selling printed textbooks to governments, a one-track business model that left them foundering when COVID-19 closed schools and drove learning online.
The 2022 APIF theme of cultivating reading culture is intentionally broad to attract a wide range of innovations. Examples could be developing the publishing value chain (authors, illustrators, translators, literary agents, booksellers, distributors, etc.) or increasing access to books, such as through public libraries.
The APIF Committee, led by IPA President Bodour Al Qasimi and comprising veteran publishers from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and South Africa, believes cultivating reading for fun in Africa – especially among children and young adults – stands to bring continentwide socioeconomic advancements in the medium to long term.