Playing for Change Social Impact Report 2011
SUMMARY In our first year of the Playing for Change incubator, Golden Baobab inspired the writing of 170 stories submitted from 12 countries throughout Africa. 3 winners were awarded the Golden Baobab Prize for: the Best Story for readers aged 12-15 years; the Best Story for readers aged 8-11 years; and the Rising Writer award for a talented writer 18 years and below. Together with Playing for Change, Golden Baobab set up one three-year goal, seven objectives and twelve outcomes. We have successfully met the majority of the short-term goals with additional effort required in three areas namely: our publishing plan, sustainability model and planning towards an annual award ceremony. Golden Baobab’s activities during the year were centered on two themes, increasing the awareness and efficient operation of the Golden Baobab and institutionalizing the organization from a one-woman project to a formal organization. Towards this, the organization has successfully set up office space in Accra with an efficient team to ensure the accomplishment of its vision. As we begin the second year in the Playing for Change incubator, one of the major concerns for the organization is on concretizing our publishing plan and pursuing mutually beneficial partnerships with publishers on behalf of our authors. More resources have already been allocated on this front. We are excited about what lies ahead as we continue to strive to inspire the creation of high-quality, culturally relevant content for African children and the young at heart.
INTRODUCTION Founder Deborah Ahenkorah’s story: At age 11, a group of my parents’ friends asked me: “what do you want to do when you grow up?” Proudly I responded: “an amateur detective, just like my favorite story book character, Nancy Drew.” They all burst out laughing. “Does she mean she wants to be a police woman?” “Maybe she wants to direct traffic?” In their laughter and questions, it hit me how my dreams based on American novels were out of context in Ghana where I was growing up. Many years later in university in the United States, I took an African literature class and I would be asked questions like: “Debbie, you’re African so you must know this famous Malian story about Sunjata?” Or, “this famous Togolese folktale is from right next door to Ghana, you must know these stories from your childhood.” I didn’t know them. I had read tirelessly as a child living in Ghana, but rarely any books about Ghana or Africa.
Still in college, I started an organization that shipped thousands of books to over 30 African countries. After shipping close to 8,000 books we came across one with pictures of a little African girl. I realized this was the first book we had sent that depicted the people the books were going to. As a child, I had read western books donated to Ghana. Over a decade and a half later, the problem was still the same? I decided to address it. Our organization Golden Baobab goal is to ensure a consistent supply of good quality African children’s literature. In an annual writing competition, we discover, celebrate and connect with publishers, the most promising writers of children’s books across Africa. Together we partner to produce winning African children’s books for the marketplace. The Golden Baobab Prize is the only one of its kind in the world. In the next ten years we want to ensure that every African child reads a book they can relate to. Many organizations are building libraries across Africa. Let’s prioritize the content!
PATHWAY OF CHANGE The Pathway of Change describes the way to our three-year goal. To achieve the three-year goal, one-year goals are set, known as objectives. To achieve the objectives we create activities with outcomes that will further lead to one or more objectives. For example, the activity to “Publicize the call in various media” leads to an outcome of “call published in 20 countries” which meets the objective of having “160 submissions from at least 12 different countries and 3 prized winners” contributing to the fulfillment of our goal to have “more literature by African authors available for and read by young people”. Vision: Discovering and nurturing talent to develop high quality African content that young people can relate to.
Target Groups • Audience of the work: Children 8-15 years • Authors: Young authors below the age of 18, general authors over 18 years of age • Partners: Publishing houses, Educators, Literacy and Educational development organizations, Children’s rights advocates, Corporates and grants makers • Geography: Audience on a global level. Authors are African citizens.
Marketing strategy Legal framework Fundraising framework Structure of managing financial resources • Publishing plan • • • •
Definitions: African authors: Young authors below the age of 18, general authors over 18 years of age. Literature: For example non-fiction, short stories, books.
Goal More literature by African authors available for and read by young readers.
Available for young readers: Published online, in magazines, books, leaflets, digital (E-readers), audio etc
Objectives • 160 submissions from at least 12 different countries, 3 prized winners • Network of partners able to organize trainings for content creators • Structure for the prize in place • Sufficient and efficient team • Business plan including fundraising, marketing, growth and sustainability, long and short term • Having approached at least 5 publishers who meet the Golden Baobab Prize’s standards • Plan for award ceremony in 2012
GBP: Golden Baobab Prize Golden Baobab core team: Team at the beginning of incubator year – Co-founder and Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah; Administrative Manager, Alida Uwera (PT); Prize Coordinator, Lanre Shasore (PT); Designer and Webmaster, Michael Jabate (volunteer) Methods of documentation • Documentation (notes, photos, registers, documents etc) • Press • Statistics for online presence (webpage, social media) • Contracts and documentation of correspondence
Outcomes • Call published in 20 countries • Representation of organization at key literary events • Selection of judges • Refined screening process • Training of team • Operational structure • Signing contracts with team
• Publicize call for submissions in various media • Compiling names and media contacts • Identifying capacity needs • Selection of team
• Consulting with experts • Making budget • Seeking financial advice
RESULTS, ANALYSIS OF RESULTS AND GOAL ACHIEVEMENT The Three-Year Goal More literature by African authors available for and read by young people Results: The Golden Baobab Prize inspired the creation of 170 children’s and young adult stories. Method of Documentation • Entry submissions pooled within an excel spreadsheet Analysis of Results: We did very well in continually inspiring our targeted authors to create fresh content in the form of stories that reflect the lives of African children. Significant work still has to be done to get these stories in the hands of children. During our second year, a rigorous effort is going into meeting this facet of our goal by implementing the publishing arm of the organization. Objectives 160 submissions from at least 12 different countries, 3 prized winners Results: Received 170 submissions from 109 entrants. Entrants came from 12 different countries; namely: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Zambia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Seychelles. Countries are listed in order of majority representation.
NOTE: Received submissions from a total of 12 countries (known), plus 1 unknown. Entrant did not specify country of origin. 3 writers were chosen for the awards in the 3 different categories. Ken Farnsworth, South Africa, winner of the Golden Baobab Prize Senior Category (Best Story for ages12-15years). Edyth Bulbring, South Africa, winner of the Golden Baobab Prize Junior Category (Best Story for ages 8-11 years). Luc Hassbroek, South Africa, winner of the Golden Baobab Rising Writer Award (Best Story written by a talented writer aged 18 years and below). 10 writers were shortlisted for the Golden Baobab Prize. Methods of Documentation • Statistical analysis carried out on pooled information within Excel spreadsheets Analysis of Results: We met out set objective; however, Africa is a big continent with even more potential writers than entered the prize. There is a lot more that can be done to increase the awareness of our program in order to inspire the creation of children’s literature throughout Africa. Structure for the prize in place & Sufficient and efficient team Results: The Golden Baobab team successfully put together a Readers and Judges Handbook to provide clear and transparent guideline on the evaluation of stories throughout the prize cycle. In addition, a proficient team was put together for the running of the prize. The team consisted of a part-time Prize Coordinator, 10 volunteer readers from Africa and around the world and an extinguished panel of 6 judges. The judges included: Brenda Randolph, founder and director of Africa Access and the Children’s Africana Book Award; Helon Habila, lecturer, published author and winner of the Caine Prize; Elinor Sisulu, awardwinning children’s writer and human rights activist; Meshack Asare, acclaimed author and
illustrator of African children’s books; Carol Mitchell, Caribbean children’s writer; and Tanja Galetti, children’s librarian. Method of Documentation • Emails • Website Analysis of Result: Extensive research went into the revision of the Readers Handbook and the creation of the Judges Handbooks to ensure that children’s needs and preferences are met first and foremost. We received positive feedback from members of the judging team. The reading and judging teams were well coordinated and all members executed their tasks successfully. We strive to always bring on board a diverse group of volunteers. Business plan including fundraising, marketing, growth, and sustainability, for the short and long term Results: A functional business plan was put in place. Strategic meetings were held to hash out a fundraising framework. A growth and sustainability plan still needs to be articulated though a skeletal plan has been put in place. Method of Documentation • Documents -Business plan Analysis of Result: The business plan is referred to as being functional because it is sufficient for current needs of the organization. However, it is always evolving as we continually discover better ways to fulfill our vision. This has especially been the case in trying to articulate our growth and sustainability model. We constantly seek the help of professional advisors in order to finalize details in this area. Network of partners able to organize trainings for content creators & Having approached at least 5 publishers who meet Golden Baobab Prize’s standards Results: The Golden Baobab is hosting an illustrators’ workshop in conjunction with IBBY Ghana and Sub-Saharan Publishers, a leading Ghanaian publisher in May 2012. Planning for this project began in 2011. We have begun relationships that have led to the process of establishing Monkey Bread Literary Agency, the arm of the organization that will see to the publishing of stories into books for children. Methods of Documentation • Emails • Documents Analysis of Results: The establishment of Monkey Bread Literary Agency is still in an early stage, but this is an initiative that will take priority this year. We are also unable to mention publishers that we have spoken to by name before anything is finalized.
Plan for award ceremony in 2012 Results: Initial plans and preparations put on hold. Method of Documentation • Email Analysis of Results: While laying out plans for the award ceremony, it was brought to our attention that local presidential elections would coincide with the award ceremony. As we have no control over the political environment, we decided to move the award ceremony to the following year, 2013, to ensure the smooth running of the program and safety of those in attendance. Outcomes Call published in 20 countries & Marketing strategy Results: The call for submissions was disseminated widely via the internet. We have over 2000 members on Facebook constantly being updated about our work and over 400 followers on Twitter. The traffic through our website increased by 500% compared to the traffic prior to the beginning of the incubator year. The Golden Baobab has been mentioned numerous times in media and print as well. Methods of Documentation • Website traffic – Google Analytics • Survey from competition entrants requiring them to state where they heard about the Golden Baobab Prize • Business cards and bookmarks distributed • Interviews given to promote the work of the Golden Baobab • Online community through Facebook page and twitter Analysis of Results: Our marketing strategy has been mostly focused on using the internet as a platform to create awareness about the Golden Baobab and its work. However, it is difficult to accurately measure the impact of marketing and communications initiatives via the internet as opposed to having something in local print. It is a challenge to differentiate between Facebook followers, those on Twitter and those who visit the organization’s website. Are these repeat visitors or are they different every time? On the overall, compared to the beginning of the incubator year, we have reached a bigger audience with the call of submissions and through our marketing strategy. Representation at key literary events
Results: The Golden Baobab was represented at a number of key literary events during the incubator year. In August, the Golden Baobab was part of a panel presenting at the African Leadership Academy's Indaba at Princeton University. During the same month, the organization was also represented at the 1st Biennial International Board of Books for Young People Africa Conference held in Polokwane, South Africa. Other events attended include the International Book Fair in Ghana, the Ashesi University's leadership seminar (Ghana) and the Echoing Green Social Entrepreneurship Conference in San Francisco, USA. Methods of Documentation • Emails Analysis of Results: The literary events listed above provided the Golden Baobab a wide audience to reach out to different stakeholders. From industry experts such as publishers, illustrators, educators to potential authors, donors and business partners, these events were a forefront where the Golden Baobab raised awareness about the organization's vision and what is being done to attain that vision. Selection of judges & Refined screening process Results: Successfully sought after and received the consent of an extinguished panel of 6 judges to participate in the Golden Baobab Prize judging process. The names of the judges are mentioned earlier in this report. (Short biographies can be found on our website http://goldenbaobab.org/judges.html) More readers were recruited to do the preliminary evaluation of entry submissions; number of readers increased by 67% compared to prior the incubator year. Methods of Documentation • Emails • excel spreadsheets Analysis of Results: In order to refine the screening process of the prize competition, we contacted professionals with over 10 years of experience running writing competitions. We increased the number of readers based upon the knowledge we garnered from discussions with these professionals. We also revised minimum requirements and attributes necessary for submission entries to make it to the next level in the reading process. At the judging level, the panel of judges is comprised of experts in their field as a result only a couple of specific attributes are recommended to them as guidelines for the judging process. Operational structure & Signing contracts with team & Training of Team Results: Currently the Golden Baobab team is comprised of 2 full-time staff members, 1 part-time and 3 volunteers. Contracts have been signed with the full-time employees. Training has taken a nontraditional format. Due to the limited capacity of the organization,
learning and training is a hands-on experience where members of the team educate themselves on subjects using free online resources, podcasts and advice from experts in the field. This training is not scheduled for any particular time, but happens on as-needed basis. Methods of Documentation • Books • Text documents • Emails Analysis of Results: For most of the incubator year, the Golden Baobab core team was comprised of the Executive Director and 2 part-time (nonpaid) employees. Towards the end of the year, the Executive Director was working with 1 part-time employee. Tremendous effort has gone into building the Golden Baobab team. For the past 6 months the organization has carried out an on-going hiring process to bring on board 2 permanent staff members. During this period, the team had to go back to the drawing board to reevaluate the needs of the organization and chart a way forward. After much deliberation, 1 permanent staff member and 2 volunteers were added to the team. The organization is constantly finding ways to identify exceptional individuals who embrace the vision of the organization. The number of volunteers is significantly higher when the prize cycle is in motion at the end of June till the beginning of September. During that time, the organization takes on approximately an additional 20 volunteers. Legal framework & Fundraising framework & Publishing plan Results: The organization does not have a formal compliance policy. There is a tentative fundraising framework in place with strategic target populations being grant-making organizations, corporate donors and individual donors. The publishing plan is a work in progress that seeks to create a literary arm of the Golden Baobab. Methods of Documentation • Documents • Emails Analysis of Results: When drawing up business and legal documents, efforts are consistently made to comply with local laws and regulations. Before finalizing any pertinent document, the organization seeks the advice and direction of a local lawyer well-versed in the system. Due to limited capacity, the organization has not had the resources to effectively pursue fundraising strategies. The publishing plan has evolved from the initial plan to have the organization take on the role of a publisher, to that of the organization taking on the role of a literary agent. This change came about after accessing the organization’s core competencies and its weaknesses. Structure of managing financial resources
Results: Financial resources are currently managed by the part-time Assistant Director with the Executive Director providing overall supervision. Methods of Documentation • Bank Statements • Excel Spreadsheets • Financial Statements Analysis of Results: Significant strides have been made since the beginning of the incubator year to improve the structure of managing financial resources. That being said, the organization still has a long way to go in adopting and implementing financial tools such as Quickbooks. Opening a local bank account in Ghana proved to be more challenging and time-consuming than anticipated.
ANALYSIS OF RESULTS AND GOAL ACHIEVEMENT In March 2011, Golden Baobab set up, together with Playing for Change, one three year goal, seven objectives and twelve outcomes. The Golden Baobab is on cue to meet the three-year goal having achieved the majority of short-term goals set at the beginning of the incubator year. There are three areas in which more effort is needed to ensure that expectations set in the Pathway of Change are met. These include finalizing the publishing plan, which makes up the core of the growth and sustainability model and planning for the awards ceremony scheduled now for 2013. Objectives such as effectively pursuing publishers and concretizing our publishing plan suffered from a shortage of capacity on our front. The hiring process proved to be more demanding and challenging than anticipated. We have had to grapple with the need to bring on exceptional individuals with a passion for our vision versus using limited financial resources prudently to bring on such individuals. This has meant that we have had to do so much with a very small team and haven’t pursued the area of publishing as much as we would like. We are glad to announce that this is a problem we are already in the process of correcting. With an additional full-time staff member, the Executive Director will have more time to pursue potential publishing partnerships already in the pipeline. There are also two volunteers who have joined to team to work solely on this front. We are very optimistic about the potential of our organization to affect positive change in the lives of children throughout Africa and we will continue to inspire the creation of high quality, culturally relevant children’s stories and seek ways to make these stories available for their intended audience.
ENCLOSED I: Validator Report External validation is a way to assure the quality of the Social Impact Report. Our external validator, Kwasi Osei-Kusi, examined the contents of this report to ensure that claims regarding results and goal achievement are justified. Kwasi is a Grants Program Coordinator at USAID West Africa Trade Hub, Ghana. He has experience in program design and evaluation across different sectors. [Unedited validator report] Kwasi Osei-Kusi Validator Report The Golden Baobab Project: Social Impact Report 2012 The Golden Baobab’s results during its first year of the Playing for Change Social incubator are well documented in an excel sheet and it is easy to verify the number of submissions, the authors, their countries of origin and their submissions. Winners are announced on the Golden Baobab website. The website also profiles the judges for the competition and lends credibility to the prize. Golden Baobab keeps a balance sheet and income statement to document its assets and financial activities. The business plan is included in the Social Impact report. Based on the results, Golden Baobab is well on its way towards achieving its goals, particularly in the area of content generation. It exceeded the target for the number of submissions during 2011. It is clear that the prize is popular and is helping to narrow a gap in literature for the African market, although as Golden Baobab rightly states, there remains significant room for growth. As Golden Baobab documents, the organization has a lot of work to do regarding its publishing arm as well as developing and implementing a financial model to ensure the sustainability and independence of the organization. They can also improve in the area of publicity for winners. This work requires additional staff and the organization has already begun efforts to ramp up the number of employees and volunteers. The Golden Baobab clearly understands the challenges it faces and this reflects in the analysis of results. It has stayed on course with its objectives, and additional staff will enhance and push the organization towards achieving its goals. Where goals were not met, its explanations are credible. Overall the Golden Baobab has been successful in generating content and excitement about African literature, and with adequate capacity and manpower, it will continue to generate
more, high quality content for the African market. The Golden Baobab provides less information, however, about how it is currently working to get the content it generates in the hands of readers to ensure that its goal of having more content for and read by Africans is met.
ENCLOSED II: Live Review Due to the nature of Golden Baobab’s work, its stakeholders are spread out over different geographic locations. As a result, to get feedback on the work that we have been doing, we interacted with different stakeholders individually. Discussions with Echoing Green, New York & San Francisco We had two brain trusts with members of the Echoing Green community where we outlined our activities and in particular some issues we were facing with building and growing the organization. The group brainstormed with us and helped us identify solutions. These sessions provided helpful feedback that helped us realize that many of our challenges are a normal part of the growing process of social enterprises. Presentation at the Global Fund for Children, Washington D.C Golden Baobab presented before a group that consisted of: employees of the Global Fund for Children, personnel from the Washington DC library and individuals from local nonprofits who work with reading and children. The experience was fulfilling; sharing Golden Baobab’s vision with a supportive group. Feedback came in the form of reassuring and words of encouragement urging the organization to confidently move ahead in the fulfillment of our vision. Discussion with Ahmed Farah, Rising Writer Winner 2010 The purpose of this discussion was to evaluate what the Golden Baobab has been doing for its winners and to figure out ways in which we can improve. The writer suggested a couple of ways in which we can enhance the awareness of our winners and propel them on to a global stage. The Golden Baobab is already in the process of incorporating these suggestions into current programs to be done this year. This turned out to be a fruitful conversation that showed how mutually supportive we are of each other’s work. There is a huge community of people who believe as we do in the importance of promoting African children’s literature. Feedback from Judges (part of process) We received compliments about how thoughtful we are about our selection process. One of the judges, an expert in her field, remarked that we have the most thorough judging process she has ever worked with. Such feedback gives us the confidence to keep doing our work the best way we know how.
ENCLOSED III: INCOME STATEMENT AND BALANCE SHEET
Golden Baobab Income Statement For the Year Ended December 31, 2011 Revenue: Gross Sales
Expenses: Office set-up and operation Depreciation Program Costs Foreign Exchange costs Travel Total Expenses
$6280.86 $0.00 $29,758.22 $98.89 $2,075.30 $38,213.27
Net Operating Income
Other Income: Income from Grants Income from 2010 Total Other Income
$54,000.00 $7,741.23 $61,741.23
Net Income (Loss)
NOTES: Depreciation expense is $0.00 because the equipment was bought in 2011 and were out into use in 2012 (Balance Sheet). The Foreign Exchange costs capture the cost Golden Baobab incurred during transactions that involved changing U.S Dollars into Ghanaian Cedes. Golden Baobab
Balance Sheet 12/31/2011 Assets Current Assets: Cash Accounts Receivable Supplies Inventory
$17,712.79 $800.00 $725.60
Total Current Assets
Fixed Assets: Equipment Less: Accumulated Depreciation
Furniture and Fixtures Less: Accumulated Depreciation
Total Fixed Assets
Other Assets: Total Other Assets
$23,527.96 Liabilities and Capital
Current Liabilities: Total Current Liabilities
Long-Term Liabilities: Long-Term Notes Payable Total Long-Term Liabilities
Capital: Owner's Equity
Net Profit Total Capital
Total Liabilities and Capital
ENCLOSED IV: Business Plan GOLDEN BAOBAB BUSINESS PLAN Vision Golden Baobab’s vision is discovering and nurturing talent to develop high quality African content that young people can relate to. Mission The mission of the Golden Baobab Prize is to address the dearth of good quality African children’s literature by identifying the African literary giants of the next generation and producing great African stories that will be appreciated for years to come. Social Problem Being Addressed UNESCO basic principle, “full and equal opportunities in education for all,” remains unattained in Africa. Scholar Edgar Arthur states, “At a time that Britain was producing 2000 children’s titles a year, Nigeria barely produced 60.” Educational development in Africa is hampered when youth lack access to diverse well-produced literature relevant to their experiences. The Golden Baobab is positioned to ease reliance on foreign content and produce quality African literature to encourage joy of reading and a reading culture. The Golden Baobab Prize will work with African content creators (writers, illustrators, educators and publishers) to produce books for children and youth ages 8 -15 years. Our immediate concern is meeting the need of young children in Africa. We however identify a large interest for African stories internationally from the large African Diaspora (African people living abroad and black peoples all over the world) and the general global audience, which lacks knowledge and exposure to Africa. Given the impact of similar initiatives like the Heinemann African Writers Series that produced classics like Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart - currently read in schools in most African countries and in high schools throughout the United States - the Golden Baobab’s
work has the potential to reach not just all young people in Africa, but young people throughout the world. Target Group The target group is divided into 2 subgroups: The 1st target subgroup is made up of creators of our stories: African writers of all ages, illustrators, editors and publishers. The 2nd target subgroup is comprised of the recipients/readers of our stories: Children in Africa below the age of 15; African children in the Diaspora below the age of 15 years and the global audience – parents, children, educators who are interested in African stories. Communications Strategy The goal of Golden Baobab’s communications strategy is to get the literary award and its winners talked of in top-tier literary and social entrepreneurship circles. To achieve this we will amass an extensive listserv of persons involved with African literature, childhood education, children’s literature, social entrepreneurship and philanthropy among many other industries. This listserv is a crucial medium for broadcasting information about our work. Social media is to be used extensively. Through a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter we intend to reach several thousands of people at very minimal costs. Funding and Sustainability The Golden Baobab will be funded by a combination of income generated by organizational activities and funds raised from grant-making organizations, corporates and individuals. 1. Short-term: Rely mostly on external funds while laying groundwork for income generating activities. 2. Long-term: Establish Monkey Bread Literary Agency, the sustainability arm of the Golden Baobab, while decreasing dependency on external funds. Monkey Bread Literary Agency’s mandate will be to discover and connect the most promising creators of African content for children and young adults with leading publishers and multi-media organizations. Revenue earned will subsidize operating expenses of Golden Baobab and support other programs. The Golden Baobab will be sustained by grants from philanthropic and development organizations as well as financial and resource support from corporate sponsors. Our goal is for prize money to be sponsored by particular African organizations and we will solicit money for our programs and operations from various grant sources around the world. We will generate revenue from our literary agent activities. Description of Method/Working Model
The Golden Baobab Prize’s annual literary competition invites entries of unpublished African stories (1,000 – 5,000 words) written for audiences in two categories: 8-11 years or 12-15 years. The competition is open to African citizens of all ages. Entrants submit their stories via Email; this eliminates postage and handling costs for them; and for us, the cost of organizing and mailing paper entries to judges. The Golden Baobab Prize offers 3 monetary awards: ● The Golden Baobab Prize for a work of fiction aimed at readers aged 8-11 years (US $1000) funded by The Global Fund for Children. ● The Golden Baobab Prize for a work of fiction aimed at readers aged 12-15 years (US $ 1000) funded by independent donors. ● The Golden Baobab Prize for a rising writer aged 18 years or younger (US $800) - funded by The African Library Project. The competition’s judging process is organized virtually via email correspondence. A team of distinguished African literary figures, scholars of children’s literature and publishing editors are recruited to serve as judges on a volunteer basis. Winners are selected by collating the individual scores of judges. Upon selection, the winners are announced to substantial media publicity with the aim of pushing the writers and their works into the African and international limelight. Goals Through the stories procured annually, the Golden Baobab Prize aims to: ● Positively impact African society by providing stellar African literature that will instill pride and love for Africa among African youth. ● Provide a platform for African writers to gain wide exposure on the global stage. Through increased production of youth literature, the stories will assist in diversifying the African literary market. ● Present the international community with multiple perspectives of the African experience through various African voices, to dispel existing misconceptions about the African continent. Organizational description The Golden Baobab Prize is an annual African award established in June 2008 to inspire the creation of the best kinds of African stories that young people all over the world will love. It invites entries of unpublished short stories written by African citizens, offers a monetary award for winning stories and connects outstanding stories with globally-recognized publishers. The Golden Baobab Prize is currently supported by: the Global Fund for Children (GFC), a grant-making and children’s publishing nonprofit organization; the African Library Project, a US-based nonprofit that establishes libraries in African communities; Echoing Green, a nonprofit social venture that champions social innovation and entrepreneurship and Playing
for Change, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs who improve the lives of children and youth. In the past Golden Baobab has received funding from the prestigious American liberal arts colleges, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College. Market Research The Golden Baobab Prize distinguishes itself in that it is the only prize of this kind - an African prize that recognizes and encourages the writing of African children’s literature, accepting entries from any African citizen residing in any location. The Golden Baobab is unique in its emphasis on unpublished African children’s stories. This approach is dissimilar to existing children’s prizes that recognize already published books and award them prizes. The Golden Baobab’s competitive model ensures the annual creation of fresh and new stories, adding to the existing body of African stories for children. The Golden Baobab Prize’s goal is to transform the children’s literature scene in Africa. Through our award, we will set new standards of excellence in African children’s and young adult literature. We will discover and nurture talent to create more wonderful works. Our rising writer award will identify and propel the new generation of African writers. The colonial era started the trend of Africa’s reliance on foreign literature. We know so much about other people but almost nothing about each other, especially at young ages. Golden Baobab Prize’s pan African focus will foster development of national identities as young people read stories about themselves and their cultures. Further Development 1. Currently, the Golden Baobab Prize’s stories produce English content about Africa for children. This leaves out the crucial populations that do not speak English but rather: African languages, Arabic, French, and Portuguese etc. The Golden Baobab aspires for its books to be translated into many languages for a wider African market. This will allow deeper impact on more children, more revenue for our authors and consequently more revenue to allow us as an organization to grow and do better. 2. In the next two years to establish a French version of the prize – Le Prix Golden Baobab. This will allow us to find stories that are not just about the Anglophone parts of the continent, but are unique and specific to Francophone African culture. This will open further sources of funding for the organization. 3. The Golden Baobab hopes to provide research material and training to persons interested in African children’s literature or becoming writers of African children’s stories. This arm of our work will increase awareness about the important role that appropriate books can play in early childhood development. The goal of this is to influence society’s norms and practices so that no young person in Africa will lack for a book that tells their story.
TIMELINE January • Create strategy for 2012 • Create annual budget • Proceed with hiring
• Publishing negotiations • Cape Town Book Fair August • Reading Season • Preparation for arrival of 2 International Exchange (TIE) volunteers
February • Prepare call for submissions • Set off prelim work for Monkey Bread Lit. Agency
September • Announce shortlisted candidates • Outline structure for illustrators prize
March • Marketing surge for GB prize • Fine-tune Illustrators Workshop details
October • Judging process begins • Research judges for illustrator prize • Communications Strategy -TIE
April • Recruit judges and readers • Fundraising strategy May • Illustrators Workshop • Marketing surge for GB prize
November • Announce winners • Marketing surge for winners • December • Close budgets, prepare financial statements • Prepare end of year reports
June • Deadline for submissions • Summer interns program begins July • Reading session begins • Planning Award Ceremony Logistics
CHALLENGES • Successfully hiring exceptional individuals within the bounds of current resources • Establishing and executing on effective publishing and distribution strategies • Securing adequate funding
Published on Apr 3, 2012