Dubai Cares is a UAE-based, development-focused NGO. In May 2019 Dubai Cares committed USD 800,000 over four years to amplify the IPA’s efforts in Africa and cooperate on new programs for sustainable development, education, and publishing.
The IPA is disbursing USD 200,000 annually to select programs under the Africa Publishing Innovation Challenge and Libraries Initiative. This process is overseen by the IPA Africa Publishing Innovation Committee, under the leadership of IPA Vice-President Bodour Al Qasimi.
The need for this mechanism arose during development of the Lagos Action Plan, at the first IPA Africa Seminar, in Lagos, Nigeria. Although the Lagos Action Plan recognized the clear need for sustainable, locally-owned solutions to the continent’s myriad publishing challenges, funding was lacking.
The Dubai Cares agreement enables the IPA to support innovative, scalable, rapid-impact projects and build on the change momentum sparked by the IPA Regional Seminar series. Our objective is to engage bright minds, identify new entry points, promote cross-sectoral collaboration, and explore new ways to transform Africa’s publishing ecosystem for the better.
This work focuses on the following themes:
- Literacy and reading promotion
- Indigenous publishing and library collections
- Publishing industry capacity building
- Support for the global rollout of the Read, Write, Create Africa Campaign
- Scaling book sales data pilot research
- Mentorship of African publishers, in particular female publishers
- Library restoration and support for rural and remote libraries
The first round of funding for the Africa Publishing Innovation and Libraries Initiative, which was disbursed in early 2020, provides catalytic funding to seven grantees, whose focus is cultivating young readers; curating indigenous, local narratives; modernizing libraries; and leveraging technology to reach younger readers. In subsequent years, new proposals will be sought for both the Africa Publishing Innovation and Libraries Initiative.
Over the next year, seven proposed grantees will work alongside the IPA to implement their initiatives. The IPA has worked with the proposed grantees to ensure that a developmental lens is applied to program monitoring and evaluation, including developing logical frameworks with tangible impact, outcomes and outputs, risk analysis and mitigation, and reporting.