Background Information on the NBDCK

Established in 1997, the National Book Development Council of Kenya {NBDCK} is a non-governmental and non-profit Organization made up of a national membership network of stakeholders in both the private and public sectors who are involved in the promotion of literacy and a reading culture in one way or another. They include associations, research & learning institutions, Faith-Based Organizations, Community-Based Organizations, Government agencies and individuals.

Members include publishers, librarians, booksellers, authors, educationists, readers and pressure groups whose core interest is the promotion of literacy and a reading culture in the country. The NBDCK brings them together for consultations and for greater understanding whilst creating the much needed synergies amongst themselves for the promotion of literacy and a reading culture. It particularly coordinates and facilitates project-based activities of these stakeholders, besides jointly looking at ways through which the mass-acquired knowledge can be enhanced and utilized productively at community level. All these are in line with one of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] – of ensuring people access knowledge through education, be it formal or informal. Presently, the membership stands at over 20 Organizations who represent different pharmacy bodies.

Motto: Reading for Life.

Vision: To realize an informed, literate society in a developed nation.

Mission: To support the development of the book industry in Kenya through creation of an enabling environment for all stakeholders to promote a reading culture for poverty alleviation.

Core Values

The NBDCK is enshrined around the following values which it seeks to uphold in its progression towards realizing its Vision:

  1. Integrity
  2. Teamwork: Active participation and involvement of members, government and other stakeholders.
  3. Honesty.
  4. Transparency.
  5. Accountability.
  6. Fairness & Equality. Ensure gender mainstreaming in all activities, and genuine representation of all stakeholder needs.
  7. Capacity Building.

NBDCK’s Strategic goals

  1. To promote a reading culture.
  2. To enhance literacy.
  3. To alleviate poverty.
  4. To enhance African culture and writing, including in indigenous languages.
  5. To enhance greater participation of members and other stakeholders to advocate for the development and implementation of the National Book Policy in Kenya.
  6. To support and promote relevant training and research towards strengthening the national curriculum.
  7. To create awareness about piracy and violation of intellectual property rights.
  8. To enhance HIV and AIDS awareness.
  9. To promote gender equity.
  10. To enhance capacity of members and other stakeholders to effectively respond to book industry needs.
  11. To increase access to resources by members through mobilisation, grant making and management.

Thus under the theme Reading for Life, the NBDCK’s overall goal is to help create a reading and thereby an informed/literate society, with an expected positive impact on people’s socio-economic status.

The National Book Development Council of Kenya promotes literacy and a reading culture through project-based initiatives among schools and the wider community for poverty alleviation. This is achieved through collaboration with partners who include associations (e.g. publishers, librarians, booksellers and authors),research and learning institutions, community-based organizations, government agencies (e.g., Ministry of Education and the Department of Culture) and individual professionals. Presently, the NBDCK is involved in two major projects:

  1.  A comprehensive, learner-centred and results-based readership program among primary schools in Kisii County (with a roll-out plan to other counties). Activities include library development and management, capacity building for trainers, librarians and classroom teachers as well as reading material development to enhance the classroom text environment among the schools.
  2. The Burt Award for African Literature, whose objectives are:
    • To support the Ministry of Education through the development of quality supplementary reading materials for both primary and secondary schools.
    • To publish stories which strengthen the English language skills of the youth and help foster enthusiasm and a love for reading.
    • To stimulate and support the Kenyan publishing industry and contribute to the literary wealth of African literature.
    • To increase the stock of reading materials in school and community libraries.
    • To recognize excellence in literature for the youth.