Symposium on Youth Literature in Africa

Youth literature proves to be an indispensable element in the education of children. However, it is very poorly known by education actors, parents or teachers. There are few books in families and few libraries in schools. The language of instruction that is French is not the language used in home and very often children learn to speak French at the same time that they learn to read. It takes several years of schooling for the knowledge of the language is sufficient to allow access to the meaning of a long text. So the reading fiction, illustrated for children, tales or novels for the most are not integrated in the programs. If we want to open to literature proper, whether documentary or fictional, it is necessary to develop a additional reading of the "school" reading put in place in the syllabaries and reading books.

A second important element is that a child establishes his/her first benchmarks from their environment. Literature for children takes note of this axiom and offers stories about the child in their cultural universe (real or imaginary). However, although African youth literature certainly exists, it is poorly known to the public and even decision makers.

Finally, technologies evolve. Africa is entering the digital age and we are in right to wonder if the digital revolution is going to speed up the learning processes and facilitate access to books and reading.


The aim of the conference is to make everyone aware of the existence of youth literature and highlight its importance in order to encourage decision makers to integrate it into their politics of the book by giving this literature a real place in the panorama Guinean education.

This symposium organized by Éditions Ganndal will take place over two days with five interventions by specialists in youth literature and book policies, followed by round tables and testimonials from authors and illustrators for the youth on their experience and two publishing policy specialists. A exhibition of African books for youth, prepared by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and published by various publishers will demonstrate the wealth of their work.

IFLA's participation

IFLA Governing Board member Viviana Quiñones will give three presentations:

  • Présentation de lʼIFLA : politique de soutien aux associations de bibliothécaires
  • Les bibliothèques africaines et le numérique.
  • Richesse de la littérature de jeunesse africaine