Dubai Cares, IPA help nurture love for recreational reading in Africa

Five new projects to receive part of $200,000 in funding in 2022

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Supllied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 16 Jun 2022, 8:17 PM

The Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) – a grant-giving programme co-led by Dubai Cares and the International Publishers Association (IPA) – has selected five new projects across Africa to receive part of $200,000 in funding in 2022 to foster a love of recreational reading among visually-impaired and print-disabled children and young people.

This is the third iteration of the APIF programme, which is funded by a multiyear, $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 per cent 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.

Dr Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer and vice-chairman at Dubai Cares said: “Our support to the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) in 2022 enables us to promote a love of reading among visually impaired young readers and provide access to books for disadvantaged children and young people.”

Al Qasimi said: “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."

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