Literacy programs from Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and South Africa win UNESCO-sponsored International Literacy Prizes. The awards were granted on 8 September in honor of the International Literacy Day. The awardees were celebrated for the various initiatives they undertook to help facilitate learning during the COVID crisis.

South Africa’s Puku Children’s Literature Foundation was awarded the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize for fostering literacy in African languages. Sponsored by the Government of the Republic of Korea, the award is valued at $20,000. Puku is a non-governmental organization which was founded in 2009 with the objective of “promoting reading and book development to help all children, especially those living in the most economically deprived areas, have access to books in all South African languages.” The impact of their programs during the COVID lockdown in 2020 is detailed here.

Ain-Shams University in Egypt will receive the  $30,000 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy for its use of digital technology during the COVID-19 crisis to empower learners in distant rural areas. Aim-Shams University is the third oldest university in Egypt. The project also provides educational, economic, and social services and uses incentives and training programs to encourage university students to join the project as literacy teachers.

The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was equally awarded to the Association of Literacy Teachers Who Use Information and Communications Technology (GA-TIC) in Côte d’Ivoire for its work on using digital technology to support literacy for women traders in Abidjan.

Congrats to all these organizations! The recognition for their work on boosting literary on the continent is well deserved.