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Little Hands

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The struggle to support African publishers

This morning I heard from a publisher West Africa who told me that the reason they cannot co-publish the Little Hands Books in local languages in her country is that there is now in this particular country donor funding for their Ministry of Education to produce books in mother tongue for young children aged 5-8 years to read in class. While this sounds like good news, and in many ways it is, it is also problematic, because they are doing this without including local publishers. The Ministry of Education can thus end up reinventing the wheel, learning how to do the work that publishers already know and giving local publishers even less chance to sell books than before.
It’s a huge problem – without supporting local publishers, there is so little chance of sustainability. Yet without donor funding, very little can happen at any significant scale.


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