About Books For Africa

The mission of Books For Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. With your help, we will help create a culture of literacy and provide the tools of empowerment to the next generation of parents, teachers, and leaders in Africa.

Books donated by publishers, schools, libraries, individuals, and organizations are sorted and packed by volunteers who carefully choose books that are age and subject appropriate. We send good books, enough books for a whole class to use.

They are shipped in sea containers paid for by contributions from people like you. It costs about 50 cents to send a book from the United States to Africa. Books For Africa has shipped more than 33 million books to 49 different countries since 1988.  Over the past 12 months we have shipped 2.6 million books valued at $35 million to 27 African countries, with an additional 223 computers and 11 brand new law/human rights libraries.

They are on once-empty library shelves, in classrooms in rural schools, and in the hands of children who have never before held a book. Each book will be read over and over again. When the books arrive, they go to those who need them most: children who are hungry to read, hungry to learn, hungry to explore the world in ways that only books make possible. 

BFA Board & Staff

2015 Books For Africa Board of Directors

Rosemond “Rosie” Owens, President, Health Literacy/Cultural Competency Specialist, Centracare Health System
Luanne Nyberg, President-Elect
Tammie Follett, J.D., M.B.A., Treasurer, Senior Account Manager & Business Development Specialist, Thomson Reuters
Jote Taddese, Secretary, Enterprise Information Architect - Global IT, Medtronic
Thomas Warth, Founder (Ex Officio), T.E. Warth Esq. Automotive Books
Patrick J. Plonski, Executive Director (Ex Officio)
Tom Gitaa, Board Member Emeritus (Ex Officio), President and Publisher, Mshale
Atare Agbamu, ThinkReverse LLC
Colleen Davenport-Adiyia, Friend of BFA
Lamin "Lang" Dibba, Real Estate Investments
Seth Eggessa, Rotary Club of Roseville
Norm Linnell, Past-President, Fellow - Holloran Center For Ethical Leatership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas Law School
Vuvu Manseka, Quality Assurance – Worldwide Licensing, The Coca-Cola Company
Fotemah Mba, VP of Artist and Repertoire, Konlive Distributions
Dan Melin, Account Executive, Follett Educational Services
Paul “Paco” Miller, Manager, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, Better World Books
Catherine Ryan, Director, Office of the President, Minnesota State Senate
Dave Schafer, Technology Account Manager, The Hartford, Past-President, Woodbury Rotary Club
John Stacey, Director of Campus Operations and Cardinal Scholars, Course Hero, Inc.
Pam Pappas Stanoch, Owner, Athena Group International
Gary Zelko, Publisher Emeritus, Merck and Company

2015 Books For Africa Ambassadors Circle

Martin Akinseye, Simba Craftware
Tsedey Aragie, Mayor's Office on Africa Affairs, Washington, DC
Divine Arpellet, Thomson Reuters
Frank Babka , Friend of BFA
Susan Barton,
Association of University Women
Sharon Sayles Belton, Thomson Reuters
Chris Bercaw, Dorsey Whitney Law Firm
Todd Bol, Little Free Library
Henry Bromelkamp,
Bromelkamp Company
Mahamed Cali,
Somali American Community
Allison Countryman, Synchrony Capital
Maggie Diebel, Minnesota Department of Health
Carol Engebretson, Minnesota International Center
Larry Eyinla,
Ernst & Young, Atlanta
Vince Farley,
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Mali, Atlanta
Eb Flomo, HELLO Liberia
Joe Lee Frank, Battlespace, Inc.
Steve Frantzich,
Books for International Goodwill Warehouse
Lali Galan,
Medtronic
Christian Goergen,
College of Dupage
Scott Griffin, Grief, Inc.
Natalie Hahn, Malaika Foundation
Kim Harms, River's Edge Dental
Pat Harris,
RBC Financial
Bryan Haynes,
Clean Earth Books
Michael Henley,
Hansen Henley Yoder and Lamb
Juli Hubbard, Follett
Donzella James, Georgia State Senate
Dr. Clark LaChapelle, Dr. LaChapelle Family Fund
Todd Lawton, Out of Print
Harry Lerner, Lerner Foundation
PJ Lynch, PJ Lynch LLC
Catherine Martignacco, BFA Kilimanjaro Society
Catherine Mayer,
BFA Kilimanjaro Society
Fiona McCrae,
Graywolf Press
Mike Miller,
Better World Books
The Honorable Anna Mkapa,
Equal Opportunities For All Trust Fund (EOTF)
Joseph Mrkonich, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Jim Munson, Compass Relocation Group
Cheryl Naja, Alston & Bird LLP
Charles Nichol s, The Nichols Foundation
Sir Emeka Offor, The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation
Isaac Owens, Assistant Foods Service Director, HCMC
Doris Pagelkopf, United Way of Minnesota
Dianne Patrick,
Snowbound Books
Tom Pfeifer,
Thomson Reuters Legal
Barbara Rose, Aid For Africa
Margaret Sents, Friend of BFA
Dick Simpson,
University of Illinois at Chicago
Ahmed Sirleaf,
US Embassy Liberia
Val Stokes,
Stokes Trucking
Jeffrey Sturchio,
Rabin Martin
Henok Tedla, Young Ethiopians Professional Assn.
Samson Teffera, Orbit Health Solutions, Washington, DC
Chris Tolbert, City Council of St. Paul, MN
Andrea Wall, Poverty Eradication Network (PEN Trust)

Staff

Office

Patrick Plonski, Executive Director
Rachel Brady, Project Manager
Sara Church, Gifts Officer
Travis Ferguson, Administrative and Communications Specialist
Carole Patrikakos, Deputy Director

Project Directors

Lane Ayres, J.D., Director of the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative
Mike Essien, Country Director - Nigeria
Tom Gitaa, Director, Diaspora Affairs & Board Member Emeritus
Asratie Teferra, Director of Books for Africa, Washington D.C.

Warehouse

Brad Mattson, Development and Operations Officer – Atlanta
April Gilbert, Minnesota Warehouse Manager
Jeremy Bostwick, Atlanta Warehouse
Norma Crumble, Minnesota Warehouse
Dan Gaarder, Minnesota Warehouse
Jen Hale, Development Assistant – Atlanta
James Hall, Atlanta Warehouse

In Kenya, we were in a small village and the students had a wonderful school. They were eager to learn. They had motivated teachers, but they didn’t have any books in the school. They had no library. And so, imagine how proud I was to open up this box of shiny new encyclopedias and dictionaries from Books For Africa. They want more of your books. They can’t wait. They can’t get enough of these books.

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN)

 

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