A few facts

Uganda is amongst the poorest countries in the world (It is actually ranked the 21st poorest out of 184. As a comparison, the USA is the 7th wealthiest country in the world).

Uganda also has the youngest population in the world --77 percent of the country is under the age of 30. This means that there are more than 7 million people in Uganda between the ages of 15 -24 years old. 

English is one of the country's official languages, is taught in schools and is widely spoken. But the literary rate in Uganda is 66.80% [1}. This is compounded by the fact that there is a very real book famine in Africa. Many children have never owned a book and their schools have a dearth of reading materials, which makes it difficult for these students to reach their full potential. 

Attending and completing primary school in Uganda has become easier since the government made primary education free of charge in 1997. However, resources are overstretched with one in five children taught in classrooms without a single textbook, and average class sizes exceeding 57 pupils to just one teacher. Enrollment in both secondary and tertiary education are also rising, creating increased demand for well-trained teachers.
— Book Aid International

Ninety-five percent of the world’s illiterate people live in developing countries, and about 70 percent are women. [2] Education is the great equalizer and has the power to lift people out of poverty. At A Reading World, we believe books are a necessary foundation to a strong educational system.

In Sub-Saharan Africa

  • More than 1 in 3 adults cannot read. [3]
  • 176 million adults are unable to read and write.[3]
  • 47 million youths (ages 15-24) are illiterate.[3]

This is an interesting article that discusses the need to develop a reading culture in Uganda. The author started a community library in rural Uganda.

[1] The African Economist. "Ranking of African Countries By Literacy Rate: Zimbabwe No. 1 in 66.80." July 6, 2013. http://theafricaneconomist.com/ranking-of-african-countries-by-literacy-rate-zimbabwe-no-1/#.VQJCHUbTEqE

[2] Dorte Verner, "What Factors Influence World Literacy? Is Africa Different?" January 2005. http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/book/10.1596/1813-9450-3496

[3] UNESCO Institute for Statistics. “Adult and Youth Literacy: Global Trends in Gender Parity.” UIS Fact Sheet, September 2010, No. 2. http://www.uis.unesco.org/template/pdf/Literacy/Fact_Sheet_2010_Lit_EN.pdf