27.10.2011 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

African Education Ministers discover 'Bouba & Zaza'

Michel Lafon12 stories of Bouba & Zaza have already been published

UNESCO’s new series of children’s books called ‘Bouba & Zaza’ will be presented to a large group of personalities including 30 African Ministers of Education on 27 October 2011 during an event at the Organization’s Headquarters in Paris.

Other key personalities at the event include UNESCO’s Director-General as well as Ambassadors, development partners and the private sector.

Participants will also watch the first video adapted from the series.

“We are very excited about this new intergenerational series, which we believe is an example of how quality teaching materials can be developed with and by Africans to respond to issues that concern children on the continent,” says Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal.

Cover issues of concern

Through the experiences of the two main characters Bouba & Zaza, the series seeks to develop life and socialization skills outside the family context among children aged 3 to 8.

It is also aimed at older children, parents and teachers. The series covers topical subjects affecting the lives of African families that parents are sometimes reluctant or do not to address, including war and conflict, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the issue of water resources and environmental protection.

The Bouba & Zaza series is initiative by UNESCO Dakar and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).

It has been developed through a broad partnership of development agencies, governments and the private sector, in particular the publishing house Michel Lafon.

Positive international attention

It has received positive attention this year during three major book fairs in London, Beijing and Frankfurt.

The series currently counts 12 booklets and an animation. More are underway. They are distributed through public fairs, library, government and school acquisitions.

It will also be sold in selected bookstores and supermarkets. The launch of Bouba & Zaza coincides with a meeting of African Ministers of Education in Paris, France, gathered to review progress made in providing quality education in Africa.

The meeting is organized within the context of the 36th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which is currently taking place.

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