NAT_210531 Nurture Africa-1622475705169
From June 1 to August 31, African-based entrepreneurs and innovators can pitch their ideas via the APIF website. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Proposals are now being accepted for projects to develop a reading culture beyond the classroom in Africa. Grants from the $200,000 (Dh735,600) Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF) are on offer to the best ideas, the International Publishers Association (IPA) has announced on Monday.

IPA said the 2022 APIF theme of cultivating reading culture is intentionally broad to attract a wide range of innovations. Examples could be developing the publishing value chain (authors, illustrators, translators, literary agents, booksellers, distributors, etc) or increasing access to books, such as through public libraries.

Joy of reading

IPA President Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: “The joy of reading and its enormous benefits to mental well-being, intellectual capacity and social aptitude are there for the taking in Africa, where 60 per cent of the population is under 25 years old. A diversified book sector is good for publishing and its many satellite industries, which employ hundreds of thousands of people. This year’s APIF challenge is especially exciting because it is so far-reaching, and I am hoping to see some really big ideas to get more Africans reaching for a book in their spare time,” she added.

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares and member of its Board of Directors, added: “Reading is one of the most essential life skills that can open people’s minds to a world of possibility and discovery. Nurturing a culture of reading cannot be limited to the classrooms and students alone. The goal of the APIF challenge this year is to expand the scope of reading beyond the four walls of schools and encourage ideas and innovations that will take this wonderful experience to make it more inclusive to a wider audience.”

How to apply

From June 1 to August 31, African-based entrepreneurs and innovators can pitch their ideas via the APIF website, after which they will receive a form to fill and return the email address provided. The eventual winners will be selected by the IPA Africa Publishing Innovation Committee.