Receive Books

Books For Africa partners with recipients in Africa to ship sea containers of books – each 40-foot container holds about 22,000 donated books. Books For Africa provides the gently used or new donated books, and the recipient organization in Africa or their financial supporters worldwide pay the shipping costs and distribute the books.

Books For Africa will load a container of books to your specifications. You can choose the books according to age level (primary junior, primary senior, secondary, or post-secondary) and category (such as math, reading, and general library books). Books For Africa ships only high-quality books that are relevant to African students. We can also supply refurbished computers and new encyclopedia sets at additional cost, as detailed on our Book Order Form.

You may fill out our Online Book Order Form, or, if you prefer to print out and scan a paper copy, you can download our Book Order Form PDF.

What is a Container Captain?

A “Container Captain” is the person who is the main point of contact with the Books For Africa office for a project. The Container Captain helps coordinate the fundraising or funds mobilization for the project, submits the book order form, and works with the consignee (recipient) organization to ensure preparedness.

A Container Captain can be anyone with an interest in advancing literacy and education on the African continent. Past Container Captains include African diaspora, supporters with an interest or connection to a specific region, Peace Corps Volunteers, and members of recipient organizations in Africa.

What is the fundraising process?

Books For Africa shipments are sponsored by the African recipient school or non-profit, or by their international supporters, such as churches, non-profits, foundations, returned Peace Corps volunteers, university departments, or concerned individuals.

Books For Africa requires the recipient group or their supporters to fundraise $11,000 for the shipping charges to most major sea ports. A specific quote can be provided to your destination of choice by completing the form at the bottom of this page. 

Visit the resources for container captains page for fundraising ideas and to see how other groups have funded their containers.

What is the shipping process?

  • Price quote & container registration
  • Mobilizing funds
  • Finalizing the book order, & preparing your recipient to receive the container shipment
  • BFA & the recipient sign an MOU, and the BFA warehouse staff prepares the container
  • BFA works with a freight forwarder to ship the container from the BFA warehouse in Atlanta, GA to Africa
  • Container arrives and is cleared from customs by the consignee

Please note, the shipping costs do not include the port and clearance charges - those are the responsibility of the container recipient and should be planned for well in advance of the arrival of the container.  The container should be cleared by someone with an organization registered with the government, so as to qualify the container for tax exemptions.

Container Captain Information
If you are interested in becoming a Container Captain, or would like more information about shipping books to a specific region, please complete the form below and a BFA staff member will follow up within 1-2 business days.