South African Ambassador Dedicates New BFA Warehouse in Atlanta
Books For Africa’s Atlanta Warehouse relocated in early 2016, more than doubling the square footage in a new 66,000 square foot facility. This new space will allow BFA to better serve the organizations and individuals with whom we partner, and allow us to double down in our efforts to end the African book famine.
A grand opening celebration was held Saturday, June 18th, where South African Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu delivered an impassioned keynote address and formally opened the warehouse with a dedication ceremony. Also joining the festivities was Ken Ono, mathematics professor at Emory University and Associate Producer for the film The Man Who Knew Infinity. Mr. Ono read a selection from his book, ""My Search for Ramanujan: How I Learned to Count" and emphasized the importance of books and education. In addition to the speeches from Ambassador Mahlangu and Mr. Ono, supporters and volunteers who attended the event were treated to free African fare and music from our very own BFA Warehouse Band.
Ambassador Mahlangu’s keynote speech focused on the positive impact of high-quality books and educational supplies on youth in South Africa and across the African continent. As the Ambassador told the assembled crowd: “No government…has all the necessary resources to effectively address the educational challenge – and this is where the impact of Books For Africa is so significant: You provide the opportunity to disadvantaged communities in South Africa and across the African continent to have access to reading and learning material – TO BE ABLE TO READ – and in doing so, to learn, to open new horizons.” He went on to quote Nelson Mandela, who said that “education is the most powerful tool you can use to change the world,” an idea that is a driving force behind BFA’s mission to end the African book famine and empower Africa’s future leaders. Want to see more? View a full transcript of Ambassador Mahlangu’s speech, watch BFA founder Tom Warth interview the Ambassador, or check out a full set of photos from the event.
BFA sincerely appreciates everyone who made this event possible: Lead Event Sponsor Follett School Solutions, 2016 Platinum Sponsor Thomson Reuters, Ambassador Mahlangu, Ken Ono, and all the volunteers, donors, and friends of BFA who came to see the new warehouse and offer their support!