East African Book Development Association

Enhancing Literacy for Poverty Eradication

Our Achievements

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The EABDA Project was a groundbreaking regional collaboration initiative which has effectively brought together key stakeholders in the book industry and helped to build successful intra and inter-country trade and professional partnerships. Specifically:

  1. The project has provided a forum for planning and consistent implementation of the region’s book development. Key stakeholders in all the three countries (authors, publishers, printers, booksellers, librarians, teachers and educationists, journalists and relevant government departments) are involved.
    b) Towards the promotion of regional co-operation the regional workshops and book week exchange visits have accorded industry players in the region the opportunity to interact and strengthen their social, cultural and business relationships.
  2. The annual book fairs and book exhibitions have expanded markets and provided opportunities for many book sector entrepreneurs (authors, publishers, booksellers and printers). So far, at least 15 reliable cross-border partnerships and joint ventures, such as co-publishing and agency arrangements, have been established are working successfully. The number of authors published across the region has also increased.
  3. The reading promotion campaign carried out during the book weeks in September has captured the attention of policy makers and the media. Coverage of book sector events and issues by the media has expanded while an increasing number of government officers participate in the activities. This has facilitated partnerships with respective ministries and departments. For example, the national libraries services, which fall under the ministries of culture, have adopted reading tents and some of the book week activities as part of their institutional programmes funded by the various governments.
  4. Interaction with the private sector has enlightened governments on the importance of developing the book industry. Publishers and booksellers are more involved in book provision projects funded by governments and have successfully lobbied for the inclusion of supplementary readers in the budgetary allocations to schools.
  5. Through the organised activities such as reading tents, book fairs and exhibitions, literary awards, cultural activities, educational activities such as school quizzes, book donations and teacher training courses, the project has laid a strong foundation for the promotion of the reading habit which will lead to expansion of markets. Over the years, the number of books bought during the book exhibitions has risen annually.
  6. By targeting mainly urban poor and rural communities and schools (about 40% of the total budget goes to reading tents and book donations), the project has enabled access to reading materials by the otherwise marginalized and poor. Since 2001, over 1000 schools across the region have benefited from book donations and set up libraries, albeit on small scales.
  7. The involvement of teachers in organising the reading activities, and training them in implementation methodologies has stimulated interest in new approaches to teaching such as reading competitions to enhance comprehension skills. This has improved literacy competences among the pupils.
  8. By enabling the sharing of experiences with others and imparting new skills through training workshops, the skills levels of book sector employees has been raised. Over 240 employees benefit from the workshops annually.
  9. As a way of operational zing the national councils the project established and equipped national secretariats in the three countries, recruited and trained staff in project management, advocacy, accounting and reporting. This has enabled reliable administrative capacity for co-ordination of national book sectors.
  10. Similarly, the membership drives have revamped book associations that were weak and facilitated the formation of new ones. These include reading associations in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, the writers associations in Uganda and Kenya, the Community Libraries Association in Uganda and Tanzania Printers and Paper Converters Association.
  11. The centralised management structure and planning, and equitable distribution of resources and implementation of activities in all countries has provided an opportunity for sharing of ideas and learning from one another. Both Uganda and Tanzania have made significant leaps towards Kenya’s scope in terms of book output levels.
News Updates
01 May, 2011
EABDA launched three new programmes in April 2011.
Quote of the Day
"People that read know better than those who don´t."
Lwosi, 1995
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