African Girl Smiling with book

Where we start libraries

We start libraries in English-speaking African countries that have a significant need for books and feature political stability, reliable transport of books to destinations, and a network of local organizations capable of organizing donated books into real working libraries. The African Library Project is currently active in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, and Uganda. Within each country, we can focus on specific regions based on our Partners’ location and ability to distribute libraries. This focus also allows us to make a specific impact on the educational resources available to those in underresourced areas.

current active countries

Kenya flag


To walk the land of Kenya is to walk the history of humankind. Did you know some of the earliest fossils of prehistoric humans have been discovered in Kenya? A former British colony, Kenya achieved independence in 1963. Since then, the country has seen vast economic growth both in agriculture and technology.

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Uganda flag


Uganda, officially known as the Republic of Uganda, is one of the youngest countries on earth with half of its population under the age of 14. Although control of the country passed to the British Colonial Office in 1905, Uganda was never fully colonized.

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Botswana flag


Botswana, a former British protectorate, gained independence in 1966. The country’s economy depended primarily on livestock until the 1970s when Botswana became a major exporter of diamonds. Currently, Botswana has one of the most successful economies and stable democracies in Africa.

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Lesotho flag


Lesotho is a tiny country nestled in the middle of South Africa. Founded as a kingdom in the 1820s, Lesotho was a British protectorate for almost 100 years before regaining independence in 1966. Today, the country is one of the world’s smallest constitutional monarchies known for its beauty and unique culture. Since 2000, primary school education in Lesotho is free and as a result, enrollment has increased.

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Malawi flag


Known as “The Warm Heart of Africa”, The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country with a population of 18.7 million. The history of Malawi goes back to the 10th century, when the area was first settled. Today, Malawi is one of Africa’s poorest and most densely populated nations. Malawi’s economy is based on agriculture. Maize (corn) is the country’s main staple food while tea, coffee and sugar are some of its biggest exports.

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South Africa flag

South Africa

South Africa (pop. 60.1 million) gained its independence in 1910. There are eleven official languages including IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Sotho, Afrikaans, and English, the most common languages. South Africa is roughly one-eighth the size of the United States or five times larger than Britain.

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Ghana flag


Previously an African Empire and then a British colony, Ghana gained independence from the UK in 1957. It was the first sub-Saharan nation to achieve autonomy from colonial rule. Ghana was also the first place in sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans arrived to trade - first in gold, later in slaves. Archaeological evidence shows that humans have lived in present-day Ghana from about 1500 BC. Today, Ghana is a model of democracy for the continent and the world.

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Sierra Leone flag

Sierra Leone

According to archeological findings, people have been residing in the Sierra Leone for at least 2,500 years. In the sixteenth century Sierra Leone was a very important center for the transatlantic slave trade. However the country’s involvement with the slave trade ended in 1787 after Freetown was established by repatriated former slaves. Due to its rough beginnings, over 70% of the population in Sierra Leone lives under the poverty line.

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why libraries?

Each ALP book recipient receives approximately 1,000 gently used children’s books, which are enough books to establish a small library that offers a diversity of books for learners to expand their knowledge and satiate their growing interests and curiosity. Books, an essential tool for teaching and learning how to read, can help bridge the gap to literacy. By establishing small libraries in schools and communities in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, youth who are eager to learn and teachers who are eager to teach are given access to an opportunity that so many in developed countries overlook, literacy. 

Local Partners

African Library Project partners with African-based organizations that specialize in education, library, or community development. These African-based organizations can support the development of thirty to sixty libraries per year and meet the criteria for sustainable library development. 

Capacity-Building programs

ALP’s library development work also includes resources for communicable disease education, a biennial Summit, and more.


Changing Lives, Book By Book