I had an amazing time in Paris last week. The book fair was great experience, even though it was all French, all the time. I was invited to the fair for this panel:
Édition scolaire, littérature jeunesse et place du numérique en Afrique subsaharienne » : Comment le « saut technologique » africain vient-il bouleverser l’accès au livre ? Quelles perspectives pour l’éducation et le développement ? Rencontre organisée dans le cadre du cycle « Digital Africa », avec Jean-Michel Ollé (Hachette Livre International) et l’éditrice sud-africaine Bontle Senne, responsable de la plateforme de littérature pour enfants puku.co.za.
It was basically about children's literature and epublishing. My co-panelists were a French publisher working in Francophone Africa and a Institut Francais employee trying to start digital publishing projects and training for librarians in Niger. Very interesting work, especially on the part of the woman from Niger. Again though I was struck with the real need to do some work in Francophone Africa. There's so much enthusiasm but so little support, institutional knowledge or funding for digital/mobile reading projects and/ libraries. I really feel like something like FundZa or Paperight could really take off there, especially from what I saw in Congo.
Not sure what it will take to launch that kind of project but maybe I should just put the question out into the universe and the answer will come when I least expect it to.