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Our International Advisory Board

Our International Advisory Board is a non-executive volunteer board authorised by our Board of Trustees.  

The board provides insights and guidance to support our strategic development, programmatic activities and operational effectiveness. Its members are drawn from our extensive partner network to represent the range of our work, and the board is chaired by our Vice Patron, Lord Boateng.  

Our Chief Executive, Head of Programmes, Head of Operations and our trustees Pam Dix and Jonathan Hargreaves also sit on the board.   

Head and shoulders image Lord Boateng

Lord Boateng

Chair and Book Aid International Vice Patron

The Rt Hon the Lord Boateng, PC DL was born in London but spent much of his childhood in Ghana, West Africa. A civil liberties lawyer, he was one of the UKs first Black MPs (1987-2005) and became the first Black Cabinet Minister (2002 -2005) serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury until he left Parliament to become the UKs High Commissioner to South Africa (2005-2009).

Ennobled in 2010 he serves on numerous commercial and philanthropic boards with a focus on Africa, youth, health and economic development. He is also the Chancellor of the University of Greenwich and Vice President of the London Library.

Joyce Ampofo

Founder and CEO, Rainbow Trust Foundation, Ghana 

Joyce Ampofo leads Rainbow Trust’s work to improve access to quality education through books and reading for underprivileged children in Ghana. The charity establishes libraries in schools, and has so far supported more than 50 schools across Ghana. Her work is driven by her 20 years’ experience as a teacher, where she saw the impact of a lack of books.  

Ms. Ampofo has been acknowledged by the Ghana Education Service for her role in the advancement of education in Ghana. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from University of Education, Winneba and Teacher’s Certificate from Wiawso College of Education. 

Helena Asamoah-Hassan

Executive Director, the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), Ghana  

As AfLIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Helena R. Asamoah-Hassan leads the organisation’s efforts advocating for favourable policies for the African library community and building their capacity to offer effective services. She is also Chairperson of the Ghana Library Authority Board and Secretary-General of the UNESCO African Regional Committee of the Memory of the World Program.  

Dr. Asamoah-Hassan has been a library professional for 45 years. She has held numerous chairs and memberships, including with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the Electronic Information for Libraries Advisory Board and the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana. She is also an editorial Consultant for the Ghana Library Journal, is on the editorial board of Library Trends and is a member of the University of Ghana’s School of Communication and Information Studies Management Committee. Dr. Asamoah-Hassan has 25 publications, 112 conference papers and 20 major commissioned reports to her name. 

Elizabeth Johnson

Founder, Ineza Foundation, Rwanda 

Elizabeth Johnson (nee Mujawamaliya) leads the Ineza Foundation’s work advocating for improved education for underprivileged children in rural Rwanda. The foundation has so far created 34 new community libraries in Rwanda and supported 68 community libraries. It also created and operates two rural early child development centres and continues to create home based reading programmes which support early literacy at a grassroots level.   

Mrs. Johnson was born and raised in rural Rwanda. Her current work is inspired by her earlier underprivileged experiences which have enabled her to empower others to achieve better opportunities for the future. She considers herself a servant leader and as a Rotarian holds the Rotary International District 5050 Governor’s Service Award for her outstanding community service. Mrs. Johnson also sits on the national committee of Rwanda Library Forum and holds a Master’s Degree in Leadership, Non-Profit stream. 

Justin Kiyimba

Founder and Director, Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre, Uganda  

Justin Kiyimba founded the Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre in memory of his daughter, Irene Nambi Sseppuuya, following her sudden death in 2002. The centre works to fight poverty, increase literacy and help the community build a more sustainable future.  

Mr. Kiyimba has been an information professional since 1974. He served as Head of the Library and Documentation Centre at the Institute of Public Administration in Kampala Uganda, the Head Research Librarian at the Kagera Basin Organisation in Kigali Rwanda and as the University Librarian at Kyambogo University in Kampala. Mr. Kiyimba helped found the Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) and has served as UgCLA’s Secretary and Chairman. He is a member of the Treasurer of the Reading Association of Uganda.

Shereen Kriedieh

President, Lebanese Chapter of International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Lebanon

As President of the Lebanese chapter of IBBY, Shereen Kreidieh works to bring books and children together. She also established and manages Asala Publishers, where she leads the company in producing high quality children’s books in Arabic. Ms. Kreidieh holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the American University in Beirut, a Teaching Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the Lebanese American University, a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature from the University of Surrey Roehampton and a PhD in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University.  

In addition to her work with IBBY and Asala Publishers, Ms. Kreidieh teaches children’s literature and social work in Haigazian University. She has served as a member of the Book and Reading Promotion Committee in the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon, was on the IBBY Executive Committee from 2018 to 2022 and she is currently a member of Hans Christian Anderson Award jury. 

Antonetta Madziva

Senior Librarian, Bulawayo Municipal Library Services, Zimbabwe 

Antonetta Sipho Madziva nee’ Msimanga is the Senior Librarian in the Bulawayo Municipal Library Services. She has 36 years’ experience in public libraries and was Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Library Association from 2003 to 2007.  

Ms. Madziva nee’ Msimanga holds numerous degrees including a Master of Science Degree in Library and Information Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies and a City and Guilds Certificate in Library and Information Science. She also advocates for the importance of libraries, taking part in annual activities of the International Association of School Libraries and the Matabeleland Reading Awareness Campaign. She is an International Network of Emerging Library Innovators Sub-Sahara Africa graduate and is an Advancing Library Visibility in Africa Champion.   

Alli Mcharazo

Chair, Tanzania Library Association, Tanzania 

Prior to becoming Chair of the Tanzania Library Association, Dr. Alli Mcharazo served as Director General of the Tanzania Library Services Board from 2007 to 2019. He is also an Associate Professor at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

Dr. Mcharazo holds a Fellowship of the Library Association, PhD and Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Management and a Diploma of Librarianship. He has taught at Thames Valley University London (now University of West London), worked as a Librarian with the University College of Lands and Architectural Studies (now Ardhi University) and contributed a number of papers on library and information studies to journals in Africa and Europe. 

Cleopatra Muma

Executive Director, Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS), Zambia

As Executive Director for ZOCS, Ms. Muma leads the organisation’s work securing educational opportunities for learners outside the government school system. Since its founding in 1992 the organisation has built the capacity of thousands of volunteer teachers, empowered communities to provide education locally and collaborated with the government to establish policies and legislation that formalise support to community schools.  

Ms. Muma has over twenty years’ experience in Zambian governmental and non-governmental organisations which have given her an in-depth understanding of the policy issues that surround social sector development in Zambia. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Development Studies. 

Lawrence Njagi

Founder and Managing Director, Mountain Top Educational Publishers, Kenya  

Lawrence Njagi has grown Mountain Top Educational Publishers into one of the most respected publishing houses in the East African region, offering textbooks as well as general reading materials.  

Prior to working at Mountain Top, he was Chairperson of the Kenya Publishers’ Association for nine years and is the Chairperson-elect of the African Publishers Network. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the International Publishers Association and a committee member of the IPA Africa Publishers Innovation Fund, an $800,000 fund to support literacy, book access, indigenous publishing and library restoration in Africa. 

Andrew Nyenty

Executive Director and Founder, Education information Services International (EISERVI), Cameroon

Andrew Nyenty leads EISERVI’s work providing education and information services to underprivileged, displaced and poverty-affected communities throughout Cameroon. His work gives children and young people access to books that enhance their lives and help them develop strong reading skills.  

Mr. Nyenty has more than 20 years’ experience and has served as Information Services Manager of the British Council, Cameroon where he helped expand its library and education programmes. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Library Planning and Design from the Universities of Maiduguri in Nigeria and Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK.   

Dr. Victoria Okojie

Lecturer in Library and Information Science, University of Abuja, Nigeria

Dr. Okojie is a lecturer at the University of Abuja. She has served on the International Advisory Committee, UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, and IFLA’s Global Libraries Board. Her prior roles include President of the Nigerian Library Association, Member, IFLA Governing Board; Area Director, The British Council, Ibadan, Nigeria and CEO of the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria, where she laid the foundation for the strategic direction of librarianship in Nigeria.

With 38 years of experience in the library and information science field, Dr. Okojie has published more than forty papers and received 15 awards. She has a passion for advocacy, mentoring young librarians and promoting access to information. She was a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Program Adviser.

Hayford Siaw

Chief Executive, Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), Ghana 

Since becoming Chief Executive of GhLA in 2018, Hayford Siaw has led efforts to grow the number of libraries in the library’s network from 61 to 113, introduced a new digital library service and increased the number of books in the country’s public libraries from less than 400,000 to over 1.2 million.  

In 2021 GhLA was declared Library of the Year by the London Book Fair and the United Nations Public Service Award recognised GhLA as one of the world’s most innovative public service organisations. Mr. Siaw is a recipient of the 15th Point of Light awarded by Queen Elizabeth II and he holds a Certificate in Governing Digital Transformation from the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK. 

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Our mission and vision

Our vision is a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.

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Our vision 2025

Between now and 2025 we will focus on creating the opportunity to read for people who face the greatest barriers to learning.

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Our Board of Trustees

We are governed by our Board of Trustees, all of whom bring the skills and experience to help us thrive.

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