Dubai Cares and International Publishers Association forge partnership to support the future of African publishing
Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Publishers Association (IPA), the world’s largest trade association for publishers, to support a range of initiatives to address pressing African publishing ecosystem challenges, build indigenous publishing capacity, and create national cultures of reading. The MoU was signed by Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), and His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares.
Through the partnership, Dubai Cares is committing AED 2,938,800 (USD 800,000) over 4 years to expand the reach of IPA’s programs in Africa as well as cooperate on new initiatives at the nexus of sustainable development, education, and publishing. Dubai Cares, which has implemented education programs in more than 20 countries in Africa, brings significant experience in literacy, educational publishing, and mother tongue education to the partnership. Kenya and Morocco have been identified as initial focus countries with other beneficiary countries to be announced at a later stage.
Not only does Africa have amongst the fastest mobile and internet connectivity growth rates in the world, but the United Nations estimates that nearly 60% of Africa’s population is below 24. If real improvements are made in literacy and education and there is an enabling economic environment for jobs and investment, Africa’s youth bulge can be a catalyst for the future of African publishing and accelerated social and economic development. In 2018, the IPA initiated its Africa Seminar series which has evolved into a continent-wide, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, collaboration, and action to shape the future of African publishing. Through IPA’s seminars and cooperation with entities like Dubai Cares it is piloting innovative, replicable solutions to the African publishing industry’s most pressing challenges while supporting sustainable development.
Dubai Cares is playing a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises, girls’ education and children with disabilities. So far, Dubai Cares has distributed over 6.6 million books written in local languages.