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Literacy Growth and Book Development in Africa: Is there Any Relationship?

NM Christopher


Literacy rates in African nations continue to rise as the nations pursue various educational programmes in their bid to promote social development. But, have the improvements in literacy rates been matched by commensurate book industry and readership development in the countries? If increased literacy actually translates into improved readership, then book industries in Africa should be expected to expand sufficiently to meet the book needs of different groups in the countries. However, the findings of this study indicate that growth in book production in African countries does not seem to reflect the achievements in literacy development in the countries. The study therefore recommends that literacy development programmes in African countries should emphasise strategies that promote functional literacy and healthy reading habits among Africa’s increasingly literate populations.

Keywords: Book development, book output, culture, literacy, readership, reading habits