Africa Regional Programme
The Africa Regional Programme is now in its third year and the focus in 2009 will be on Centre sustainability, evaluation and shared learning, and the development of new and existing programmes. These programmes will be developed in the priority programmatic areas the Centres identified: education, library and community access, and the promotion of literature.
2008 International PEN funded projects
Ghanaian PEN is developing its creative reading and writing clubs in schools that were established in 1990s. The clubs are based primarily in schools in rural areas and focus on developing English language reading and writing skills, leadership skills and human rights awareness.
Ugandan PEN is building on the project established in 2007 to write ‘Ugandan childhood memories,' which involved mentoring 90 children to develop their writing style and stories relating to different areas of life in Uganda and their own experience. The Centre will continue the mentoring project and in addition will hold a series of workshops with the mentors, mentees and teachers to develop tools to improve literature teaching in schools.
Somali Speaking PEN ‘s main aim is to promote reading and writing in Somali, which has only existed as a written language since 1972. The Centre is building on its work promoting Somali literature by carrying out an education project in schools in and around Djibouti, holding creative writing workshops with students.
Library and Community Access projects
Zambian PEN is building on the work it has carried out through its schools clubs and events in 2007 through holding a series of events in libraries. These events target different generations and sections of the community as well as including participants of their schools clubs programmes. The events include traditional stories, children's writings as well as introducing the resources available in the library through introducing different literary texts.
Guinean PEN is building on the mobile library bus and schools clubs project, which visits schools in rural areas that do not have access to books. This project is building on the strength and long-term impact of the establishment of a mobile library and schools clubs by developing participants skills to run the clubs in between writer visits through writing and training workshops.
Literature and Public Engagement projects
Nigerian PEN is holding a series of workshops examining the role of the writer in society and in education. These include events for young writers and also creative reading and writing workshops in community groups and schools.
Day of the Imprisoned Writer
Six African PEN Centres held events on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, November 15th to promote freedom of expression and human rights issues in their country in Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Uganda, Somalia and Zambia.