IBBY-Yamada 2007: Madagascar

The Bobiko Project

This project was designed to develop a children's book culture: books in the local language as well as bilingual books. It included a publishing workshop and a workshop for writers and one for illustrators.

The Bobiko Project was designed to develop a children's book culture: books in the local language as well as bilingual books. 

Madagascar is part of Africa, and for the past two decades, IBBY France has been actively involved in publishing and reading development in Africa through La Joie par les Livres,  specialising in Children’s Literature in the continent. 

Three staff members based in Paris, Marie Laurentin, Viviana Quiñones and Hasmig Chahinian, coordinate a professional network that includes 20 French-speaking countries in Africa as well as some of the countries where English is an official language. 

The island of Madagascar had a strong culture in early 20th century, and the University of Antananarivo was a cultural centre in the Indian Ocean. After wars and sad political events, it is now one of the poorest places in the world: 70% of the population is illiterate. But things are changing. The new government is more stable and wants to give children a better chance, by offering scholarships for the 45% of the country’s inhabitants who are young people. 

Publishing projects are also being launched. Bobiko is one of them, and they have started to create children’s books in Malagasy, as well as bilingual editions. The project is supported by several partners and is directed by Marie Michèle Razafintsalama. She is strongly devoted to publishing and specifically, to children’s books. However, the project requires training for publishing professionals and for writers and illustrators interested in working for children and young readers.

The IBBY-Yamada workshop was designed to train publishing professionals as well as writers and illustrators.  the workshop was led by Béatrice Lalinon Gbado from Éditions Ruisseaux d’Afrique, Gabon.