National Book Trust of Uganda
Fountain House, Plot 55 Nkrumah Road
The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) was founded in 1997 to promote authorship, publishing, trade in books within Uganda and across the borders and inculcate a culture of reading. Since 2001, NABOTU has been running a book development programme sponsored by Sida, Hivos, Book Aid International; Pearson Longman (UK) through the East African Book Development Association (EABDA) and several local publishers. The program goal is the eradication of poverty through literacy enhancement. NABOTU's Children's Reading Tent (CRT) program introduces children of school going age to a habit of reading for pleasure. The CRT program benefits rural and urban poor schools with a focus on enhancing educational standards in the beneficiary schools. CRT activities which include read-aloud-marathons, silent reading, writing, storytelling and poetry recitals; teacher training in teaching reading methods, promoting reading and managing school libraries. Other activities include basic reading instruction for the children and donations of local and international children's storybooks to the schools. NABOTU organises an annual National Book Week Festival whose goal is to promote reading, promote writers and their books, provide opportunities for building networks and strengthening the book chain. NABOTU also offers training for authors, gaphic designers, lllustrators, editors, booksellers and other human resources in the book industry. NABOTU's program has been successful in uplifting the profile of Uganda's book industry. The skills available in the sector have greatly been enhanced and a number of indigenous publishing companies set up and on their road to prosperity. Thousands of locally authored books are available on the market in English and several local languages. Children that have benefited from our programs are more confident, have greater masterly of language and perform better in class and in exams. Government has currently embraced the National Book Week Festival by encouraging all 15,000 state sponsored primary schools to participate. The schools program requires support to train teachers in reading promotion; train school inspectors in monitoring reading programs; provide publicity and promotion materials and set up an evaluation mechanism. NABOTU is currently looking for partners to help in scaling up the program to benefit more children accross the country. In addition, NABOTU wishes to work with partners to build futher the capacity of authors, publishers and booksellers to effectively participate in the regional book market of the East African Community. NABOTU is also working on introducing authors and publishers to new and innovative publishing models using online platforms under flexible licenses. A previous publishing experiment under the project, "Publshing and Alternative Licensing Models for Africa" which was funded by IDRC revealed several needs including training in the use of information technology for publishers; skills to manage internet based publishing projects; marketing and promotion skills etc.
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