Literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Vanessa Portilla

Literacy is an essential part of the right to education and the foundation of lifelong learning, as well as a driver of sustainable development. Empowers people, improves livelihoods, enables greater participation in society and the labor market, benefits the health and nutrition of children and families, and reduces poverty.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines a literate person as someone who can read and write a short, simple statement about their life. In recognizing its impact on poverty, health, active citizenship and empowerment, the development community recognizes that “Illiteracy is a condition that denies people opportunity.”

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banner 1200×700 IWD6

The global distribution of literacy is uneven and follows the pattern of rich and developed countries with a higher rate -although the countries that lead the ranking are Ukraine and Uzbekistan, with a rate of 100% in both according to the latest data, from September 2021, while those with lower rates are the so-called developing countries, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.

How is Literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa?

• More than 1 in 3 adults cannot read.

• 182 million adults are unable to read and write.

• 48 million youth (ages 15-24) are illiterate.

• 22% of primary aged children are not in school.

• That makes 30 million primary aged children who are not in school.

Poor infrastructure and lack of resources exacerbates extreme poverty, making it impossible for children to break the cycle of deprivation and realize their true potential. A community’s literacy rate correlates directly to its level of resilience. Therefore, it is essential to boost literacy in rural communities if we want to have a sustainable impact on addressing poverty and building resilience. Africa needs to increase its reading materials and pedagogical tools to create better lives for its people.

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DSC0756 2

What are we doing to improve Literacy Levels in Sub-Saharan Africa ?

Sun Books is a World Literacy Foundation program specifically designed to support children, families and communities in rural and off-grid locations across Sub-Saharan Africa.
We provide free access to quality education materials and innovative solutions that target wide-scale illiteracy and numeracy. In 2019, we reached more than 350,000 children and young people with our services, across 80 countries in 5 continents.
“Sun Book” is a solar powered tablet with pre-loaded interactive educational content, tailored to cultural and community education needs, in both mother tongue and English.
Literacy resources up to 600 e-books and stories, educational games, learning applications, videos and audio books.
Our main aim is to provide children, classrooms and teachers greater access to quality technology educational resources without the need of electricity or the Internet. Our main project objective is to improve literacy and numeracy and numeracy rates. A secondary objective is to train teachers in child-centered, culturally relevant pedagogy to boost capacity in the longer term for improved literacy and numeracy attainment in these schools and their communities.

How can you help?

You can become part of the change in different ways, all kind of support is welcome. Click here and get to know how to help us.

Volunteer with us:

We are looking for people who have a love for literacy, children and a huge desire to make an impact. We have open positions for content creators, marketing analysts, graphic designers, teachers, researchers and more. Wanna be part of our team? Register here

Make a donation today and change a life forever!

You can choose to make a recurring donation, a single contribution, or a tribute gift to help end illiteracy.

Become an ambassador

We’re looking for ambassadors who, like us, believe that education is freedom and we are passionate about creating a world where every single child has access to high quality learning resources.

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An initiative by the World Literacy Foundation

©Copyright Sun Books. All right reserved. An initiative by the World Literacy Foundation

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