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Yvonne Appiah, CODE

Indigenous Publishing: Options and Challenges
The CODE Experience
Presented by Yvonne Appiah, Executive Director, CODE

Sabre Foundation Dialogue of African Partners: Book Programs in the New Century
Accra January 7-11, 2002

Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to take part in this conference and I am especially pleased to have this opportunity to share CODE's experiences in indigenous publishing with you.

A brief history of CODE will serve your understanding of our presence at this conference.

CODE is a Canadian charitable organization promoting literacy and education in Africa and the Caribbean. It was founded in 1959 by volunteers in response to a request from a mission in the Caribbean for a set of encyclopedia. Soon a network of volunteer groups was shipping donated North American books from all over Canada to schools, libraries and a variety of organizations around the world. This network was consolidated and registered as a non-governmental organization which in time took on support of projects in addition to shipping books overseas. CODE's four decades of experience in working in education and literacy in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the developing world have encompassed a variety of programming activities and models.

Today CODE has a comprehensive and multi-layered program which it develops and implements using a partnership model involving 14 organizations in nine countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Our programs seek to improve the capacity of children to learn by:

  • Providing children's learning materials;
  • Supporting skills development in teaching/librarianship;
  • Promoting of literate environments for children; and
  • Strengthening resource and education networks.

CODE has supported indigenous publishing for two decades. This we see as a natural progression of our book sending activities - which still remains an integral part of our programming. There has been much criticism of book sending but we feel that as long as book provision remains woefully inadequate, in quality