Book Aid international has been sending books to Zimbabwe since 1959. In 2012 we sent 40,106 books to Zimbabwe – our fourth largest consignment after Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. As there is no national library service we work through two specially convened distribution committees in Bulawayo and Harare formed of representatives of public libraries, university libraries, Rotary clubs, non-governmental organisations and the British Council, who distribute our books to libraries such as the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library.
Human development index ranking: 172nd out of 186 countries
Adult literacy: 91.9%
Net enrolment in primary education: 88%; secondary education: 37%
Total enrolment in tertiary education: 94,611
Why we work in Zimbabwe
The education system in Zimbabwe is largely based on the English language and British curriculum, making our donated books especially relevant. The economic and political troubles of recent years led to many teachers and librarians fleeing the country, however it maintains a high literacy rates and well developed reading culture. There is a good number of libraries but a severe shortage of resources to buy books. Many libraries have been largely sustained by Book Aid International’s donated books.
Book Aid International’s consignments include predominantly recent titles and latest editions, ensuring that as many students and educators as possible in Zimbabwe have the most up-to-date materials on which to base their studies and that they take the latest knowledge and techniques forward into their professions. Our ability to send multiple copies of the same textbook means that universities and colleges can designate these up-to-date titles as ‘set texts’.