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An African chapter of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Book Club is set to launch on World Book Day, 23 April 2021 as global bodies continue to recognise the importance of books in taking humanity forward.

The African Chapter of the UN SDG Book club sees the UN and the International Publishers Association (IPA) working with the African Publishers Network, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions, the Pan-African Writers Association, Borders Literature Online and the African Booksellers Association.  The Book Club aims to help children (6-12yrs+) understand the SDGs through literary works (fiction and non-fiction). This will make them internalise the ideas and core values of an inclusive transformed world in which the 17 Goals set out by the UN are achievable in all African communities.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Book Club was launched at Bologna International Children’s Book Fair in 2019 and aims to use books as a tool to encourage children ages 6-12 to interact with the principles of the SDGs through a curated reading list of books from around the world related to each of the 17 SDGs in all six official UN languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals themselves were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015.  There are 17 goals, encompassing everything from health, to gender equality, and education.  The intention is for the Goals to mobilize efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The UN SDG Book Club was as launched in 2019 in collaboration with the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Library Associations, the European and International Booksellers Federation, the International Authors Forum and the International Board on Books for Young People.

Samuel Kolawole, Chairman of the African Publishers Network­ said: “There is no doubt that good quality books at all levels can contribute immensely to the attainment of the SDGs all over the world by providing knowledge on the goals and what steps can be taken to attain them.

“For Africa, availability and access to such books that are indigenous to Africa and to which Africans can relate, will go a long way in ensuring that the continent of Africa makes good progress towards achieving the SDGs. That is why the efforts by all book stakeholders across the continent, in partnership with the UN, to organise an SDG Book Club for Africa deserves commendation and should be supported by all.”

Submissions are open now at and a selection committee formed by the different partners will pick a shortlist for each SDG.