In most of the 1500 languages of sub-Saharan Africa there is a severe shortage of contextually appropriate materials for young African children learning to read. This is a major obstacle in tackling the low levels of school literacy in many African countries.

Children can’t learn to read if they don’t have books in a familiar language to practise their reading skills and learn to love reading. Saide’s African Storybook initiative addresses this challenge by working with local educators and illustrators (including children!) to develop, publish and use contextually appropriate storybooks that can be read online or offline, or downloaded and printed.

The African Storybook website has thousands of openly licensed free picture storybooks in the languages of Africa for children’s literacy, enjoyment and imagination. It also has tools for the translation, adaptation and creation of picture storybooks for children aged two to ten (early childhood and first three years of primary school).

African Storybook has two apps for mobile devices downloadable for free from Google Play and the iStore: the African Storybook Reader gives parents and children access to the storybooks even when they are offline; the African Storybook Maker allows people to create picture storybooks offline on their mobile phone or tablet, and publish them on the African Storybook website when they are connected to the internet.

Source: The African Storybook Initiative

Back to Initiatives