Books2Africa is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (UK registered charity no. 1152599) whose mission is to promote a culture of recycling and to improve the quality of education in Africa, through the collection, processing, shipping and distribution of quality books, computers, and educational materials, that enable individuals, institutions, and communities to acquire knowledge and achieve their full potential in a globalised world.
Watch Books2Africa's journey to 1 million books
We believe education has the power to unlock one’s full potential, regardless of age, gender, economic status, or nationality. Achieving this requires a combination of quality guidance, a conducive learning environment and access to quality educational materials – where Books2Africa is helping.
In 2017, Books2Africa became an organisation in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has attended and delivered statements at ECOSOC’s High Level Segment debates at the UN headquarters in New York, making it a stakeholder NGO in the education and international development sector.
As an organisation that works within very diverse communities in the UK and across the African continent, Books2Africa’s approach is centred upon three key foundational principles that are shared by the founders as well as our supporters:
Books2Africa is an NGO that was founded by African students in 2012, whose vision and passion for the continent’s development continue to guide the charity’s operational model and strategic priorities, within a framework that enables international collaboration and mutual respect. Books2Africa’s founding members play active roles within the Board of Trustees, together with Honorary Trustees who are appointed according to their expertise and experience within Books2Africa, ensuring the Board reflects the diversity within the communities served by the charity.
Books2Africa’s definition of education is centred on a perspective of the world as a global community where different nations and civilisations can learn from one another to advance human development. Because every culture has something to teach us, sending Shakespeare’s Hamlet to a reader in Africa, or promoting Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to readers in the UK enables us to foster a more tolerant global community where donors and beneficiaries are equal collaborators. As such, the books we provide are determined by the curiosity and requests of the readers we serve.
Books2Africa accepts donations of not only new books but used books and educational resources too from the public, ensuring that more than 600 tonnes of quality books from UK households and the book trade are diverted from landfill yearly and readcycled. Furthermore, the overheads of the charity are funded from its Charity Shop, ensuring that 100% of donated funds are spent on shipping books to Africa for distribution. With the knowledge and consent of our book donors, up to 20% of donated books are traded via our UK Charity Shop, keeping the charity financially sustainable.
Books2Africa enables supporters to donate or receive books, computers, and educational materials, thereby creating an international network for sharing and redistributing knowledge. Did you know “New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Sub-Saharan Africa has the single largest number – 202 million – of children and adolescents who are not learning. Across the region, nearly nine out of ten kids between the ages of about 6 and 14 are not gaining minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.” (UNESCO, WORLD BANK)
Every year more than 13 million books are sent to landfill in the UK alone.¹ At least, another 26 million books (26,000 tonnes) are recycled.² Books2Africa encourages a culture of ‘readcycling’ by enabling individuals and institutions to donate their books which are in new or used (good and legible) condition instead of throwing them away.
As a Microsoft Third Party Refurbisher, Books2Africa collects donations of laptops, desktops, tablets and other technological equipment which are wiped and refurbished according to industry standards before being made available to individuals in Africa who may be using a computer for the first time! We provide an e-Certificate of Data Wipe for every refurbished device, in line with our Data Protection policy and GDPR.
When books and computers are processed and shipped out to Africa, Books2Africa also includes donated supplementary educational materials such as educational toys, sports kit and equipment and school bags that enhance the educational experience for recipients. These supplementary resources are often used to support extra curricular learning in areas such as Physical and Health Education, Art and Music.
Individuals and organisations who donate books, computers or other educational materials are required to either drop-off/deliver their resources to our Processing Centre or fundraise and contribute a collection fee to cover the cost of a courier collection from their address. At our Processing Centres, donated items are processed to ensure all items received are catalogued on our Inventory Management System and only relevant items in good/working condition are ready for shipping to readers across Africa.
Individuals and organisations in Africa who are in need of large quantities of books or educational resources are required to complete our online Shipment Request Application to be reviewed for approval. We do not approve individuals who are book sellers or middle men. Requests which are approved are required to fundraise and contribute a shipping fee to cover the cost of processing and shipping their approved items to a sea port in their country. Our 1 Million Books Club also helps here.
Individuals and organisations in Africa who only need a few books or educational materials and cannot raise enough to cover a shipment from the UK can visit a Books2Africa Distribution Centre in their country (if applicable), where they can browse and select books from available titles and are required to fundraise and contribute a distribution fee to cover the cost of customs clearance, local haulage and warehousing. We currently have Distribution Centres in 4 African countries.
Our 80/20 fundraising model means we cover our UK overheads by earmarking up to 20% of donated books and resources via our charity shop. In fact, since the charity was founded in 2012, only 5% of donated books have been sold via our charity shop, with 95% going to individuals, institutions and communities across Africa.
Every year, we aim to raise £200,000 to fund the shipping and distribution of 1 million books to readers across Africa. Every month, we receive requests for more than 200,000 books from people across Africa, yet only 20% of these requests are fulfilled as applicants are unable to raise enough funds to cover their shipping fees. Books2Africa’s 1 Million Books Club consists of individuals and corporate sponsors who sign-up to donate funds on a regular basis to support the charity in funding these pending shipments.
Your books set-off on a voyage across the world, finding their way from your quiet shelves to the curious hands of a student or teacher in Africa where they’ll find new life and their pages will turn once again! At Books2Africa, we are proud of our use of cutting edge technology to catalogue and track every single book that is donated, following it on its journey from the hands of the donors to the hands of recipient. Here is how we keep you updated on your impact.
A personal dashboard with email notifications to track the status, location and final destination of your donated books.
A photo from an individual who received one or more of your donated books or materials sent to your email.
A video from an individual or institution who received your donated books posted on our Social Media.
A detailed report from institutions or projects who receive large shipments of books, published on our website.
Our quarterly e-newsletter containing details of the charity's performance and impact in the preceding quarter.
The board of trustees consist of founding and honorary members. The four founding directors are members of the same family, and founded the charity during their time studying as international students at universities in the UK. The founding directors together with appointed honorary trustees ensure the charity is governed and achieving its aims and objectives while staying true to the vision of the founders.
Dr Tonson Sango
Founding Trustee &
Director of Operations
Dr Precious N. Sango
Founding Trustee &
Director of Education
Mr Chumang Sango
Founding Trustee &
Director of IT
Mr Gideon Sango
Founding Trustee &
Director of Partnerships
Ms Arshita Nandan
Ms Alexandra Kieffer
Ms Langa Mpofu
Mr Prince Ikeru
Ms Sara Bell
Our enthusiastic team of change makers are at the heart of the charity’s UK processing centre, supporting key aspects of our operations.
Processing Centre Manager
Charity Shop Supervisor
Tech Refurbishing Supervisor
Amazing individuals who inspire us and use their experience, skills and influence to promote our cause to a wider audience in order to increase our impact.
Zimbabwean author, scholar and Caine Prize nominee
HM Ambassador to the Republic of Niger
Supply Chain Development Manager with over 20 years' experience in book publishing
Fundraising Board Director specialising in Fundraising and Marketing at Save The Children UK
Our team members are happy to attend and speak at your event to support Books2Africa. Please complete the online form to request a speaker.
We have volunteering opportunities for people currently in the UK and those who would like to come here on a Tier 5 charity worker visa for our International Volunteering Programme.