African Artists for Development (AAD) undertakes to build five « Magic Libraries » in Côte d’Ivoire, between 2017 and 2022. These five school libraries will be built next to five schools erected by the Magic System Foundation.
After the success of its programme « Lovely Libraries » in Benin, AAD wishes to increase the presence of libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to improve access to books in the region.
The percentage of children in full-time education in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the lowest in the world, with 76% of children enrolled in primary school, but only 29% in secondary. Meanwhile, the literacy rate is about 70% for men and 50% for women. In this context, access to books – and therefore knowledge- remains limited. Providing books to African youth is a priority for its cultural enrichment and self-fulfillment.
As important as building libraries may be, it must take into account a variety of stakeholders. This means guaranteeing the use of local resources every step of the construction, picking books and textbooks that match the national curriculum as well as the students’ culture and current needs.
Besides, according to AAD’s mission to link contemporary art with development initiatives, the NGO commits to make those libraries “Magic”, thanks to the artistic expertise of Ivorian artists on layout and furniture.
The Cote d’Ivoire government established access to education for all as a national priority. According to the development national plan; the education rate for children in age of attending primary school is 78,9%. This plan highlights the need of guaranteeing access to primary education for all.
According to the World Bank, in average, an Ivorian student has only access to one textbook throughout his primary school years. To this extent, working towards better reading access and teaching aid seems essential for the country.
Following our meeting with Magic System who rehabilitate and build schools in Cote d’Ivoire, AAD decided to offer its expertise on library building to provide some to their schools.
Access to books and teaching aid is the primary objective of this programme. The artistic contribution to the program should be an opportunity for children to seize their national cultural wealth. These “Magic libraries” also allow for an appropriation of knowledge and art.
The inauguration of the first “Magic library” was held the Wednesday 11th of October 2017, thanks to the hard work of several partners for construction and furnishing.
Magic System Foundation