IBBY-Yamada 2020: South Africa

IBBY South Africa: Creating new African children’s books – Pan-African Book Dash

Book-ownership among South African children is shockingly low and it has led to equally low literacy levels throughout school and into adulthood. Book Dash is a non-profit publishing organisation that creates new open-licensed African storybooks that are affordable and of a high quality. The aim of the Pan-African Book Dash project is to provide approximately 35 creatives from across the African continent (writers, illustrators, editors and designers) with the opportunity to collaborate on new African children’s books. The children’s books made in this way will be used for children who would not normally own books and contribute to improving literacy levels and creating a reading culture. As in the first Pan-African Book Dash held in Johannesburg in 2017, 10 writers, 10 illustrators, 10 editors and 5 designers from across Africa, both experienced and less experienced, will be invited. The participants are not paid, but their travel and accommodation will be paid by the Goethe Institute. The print-ready books will be published on the Book Dash website and then they are published through fundraising and donated to literacy organisations in South Africa. This project has been rescheduled to take place in 2021. Read the final report here.