Books Have the Power to Transform African Lives

In David Shariatmadari’s review of William MacAskill’s book Doing Good Better (Review, 22 August), he quotes the author as saying that books do not advance education in Africa. That is a paradox to say the least. There is plenty of data to indicate that books do indeed advance student achievement. In fact, a World Bank report in May 2015 emphasizes the urgent need to get textbooks into the hands of every student in sub-Saharan Africa: “No other input is likely to be more cost-effective than making high-quality learning materials available to all students…”.