Project #5993

Libraries Across Africa

by Libraries Across Africa

Global Giving has been extremely successful at providing the seed funding to get the LAA idea developed sufficiently to go to market.  Thanks to all who have helped make that possible! 

The LAA team feels that we have reached the point where we are ready to launch and are, at this moment, organizing an effort to take the project to the next level.  Expect some serious commotion in a couple of weeks…

David Dewane
Libraries Across Africa

The most significant advancement in LAA over the last quarter of 2011 was traveling to Accra and confirming that it is indeed the ideal launch location. After a rigorous vetting process, Ghana emerged as the market to launch (surpassing Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya). Two LAA representatives visited Accra on a fact-finding mission and met with wide range of contacts in business, government, library science, and education. The feedback from trip was overwhelmingly positive. Observations of local building methods allowed the design team to revisit the LAA design, leading to simplification and significant cost reduction of the prototype. The critical task for the first quarter of 2012 is securing the funds to proceed with fabrication and leverage that progress to raise the remaining funds for the pilot phase. 


Travelled to Accra, Ghana to build African network, interview candidate partners, and examine potential sites

• Formalized relationship with Librarians Without Borders to help establish training platform for local librarians

• Formalized relationship with Son & Sons / Portfolio Center to aid in brand management and market positioning

• LAA pitched with greater regularity, including an ICT conference at Rice University and to Governor Fashola of Lagos State at University of Oxford

Campo identified as fabricator for prototype construction


• Complete 501c3 filing

• Secure funding for fabrication of LAAb prototype (~50k) 

• Proceed with prototype fabrication

• Proceed with development of LAA software portal

• Secure agreement form Houston Museum of Natural History to host library during testing

• Leverage construction progress to raise funds for transporting LAAb to Ghana in mid 2012

LAA is preparing to send two representatives from the team to Ghana Nov 19-27 to work face-to-face with our partners on the ground and document potential sites for the pilot library.  Stay tuned for a post-trip update in a couple weeks...

Hi all,

Some recent updates from Libraries Across Africa:

1) LAA wins Best Innovation Leveraging Technology Award for the Dell Social Innovation Competition.  This award came with a $10,000 prize in addition to a $2,000 technology gift and a student fellowship for Kevin Simmons (one of our MBAs) to a business development workshop at Brown University this summer.

2) Idris Bello, Director of Business Development, pitched LAA at several conferences, including Unite For Sight Global Health and Innovation, Starting Bloc '11, and Singularity University.  Idris was also named the Huffington Post's Greatest Person of the Day.

3) LAA is No 2 on Ashoka's 20 Organizations to Watch in the Educational Technology Space.

Currently, LAA is working towards the construction of a prototype eHub in Houston Fall 2011 with the intention of using this in the first LAA library deployed in Ghana in early 2012.  Thanks for your support and we look forward to keeping you posted as we continue to develop.


David Dewane

Libraries Across Africa is still in a period of rapid development.  A quick list of project updates:

 - LAA is a semi-finalist for the $50,000 Dell Social Innovation Competition. 

- LAA is also a semi-finalist for $25,000 Grinnell Fellowship.

- Team has expanded to ten, and now covers IT development, business, architecture, anthropology, accounting, and marketing.

- We have recruited a core group of advisors who are helping organize LAA’s business structure and operations. 

- Launched a new website:  with expanded video.

- Have several excellent leads developing for our pilot library in Ghana. 

- Finalizing our construction documents for a pilot eHub.

- Have a comprehensive venture plan and are seeking funding for pilot phase to begin late in 2011.


Thanks for your continued support.  LAA simply could not develop this quickly without Global Giving’s assistance in organizing and mobilizing this support network. 


David Dewane

 Project Director

Libraries Across Africa


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Organization Information

Libraries Across Africa

Location: Houston, TX - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Libraries Across Africa
Project Leader:
David Dewane
Houston, Texas United States

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