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Libraries, literacy and poverty reduction : a key to African development

MCHOMBU, Kingo
2006

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This research paper explores the potential for libraries to empower communities and fight poverty in Africa, through promoting literacy and providing access to relevant information. The author outlines the challenges that libraries and information centres in Africa face; and the potential that linkages with local and international partners could bring. Case studies illustrate how library networks in three countries address the challenges and serve their communities. Recommendations for library networks highlight the need for skilled personnel, partnerships, a remit to create and share local content, appropriate use of technology, and better and more responsive monitoring and evaluation. Recommendations for governments and donor agencies include creating national information policies, filling a 'coordinating' role in the information environment, investing in literacy, and expanding public library networks

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