Albasa Publishing is a small publishing house located in Niamey, Niger. Albasa is supported by the government of Niger through the office of the Minister of Education and the German development agency (GTZ). Albasa is dedicated to the promotion of the national languages of Niger, and the promotion of publishing in national languages, with the long-term goal of establishing a written culture in NigerŐs national languages. The national languages include Hausa, Zarma, Kanuri, Fulfulde and Tamashek. Albasa publishes monolingual texts in national languages as well as bilingual versions with French and a national language. Private businesses dedicated to the publication of works in national languages also support Albasa. Albasa is also partnering with UNICEF to improve the learning environments in Nigerien schools and create local literacy centers to promote the use of national languages. In the near future Albasa will undergo an external review of its business and publishing practices with the goal of privatizing operations.
The Center for Linguistic and Historical Studies through Oral Tradition
The Center for Linguistic and Historical Studies through Oral Tradition (CELHTO) in Niamey, Niger publishes and disseminates texts in Hausa and other African languages. The Center, supported by the Organization for African Unity, collaborates with partners in Africa, such as Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto, Nigeria, to collect and preserve African oral tradition. CELHTO is currently partnering with organizations in four other countries on a new project titled, Sound Archive and Documentary Resources on African Oral Traditions (ARTO).The ARTO project (www.africa-orale.org) uses current indexing norms to inventory and organize oral documents. ARTO preserves oral texts through digital recordings which are then systematically categorized. Once classified the texts are readily available to researchers and all those interested in the study of African oral tradition. Due to issues concerning intellectual property rights, only short clips are available from the Web site, however, complete digital recordings are kept in the audio library. The ARTO project was conceptualized during ten workshops and seminars that brought together researchers, communications experts, and technical experts from Africa. ARTO has been developed with support and encouragement from the Swiss government through its representative, Intermedia Consultants, Inc. The current goal is to expand the project to include additional countries.