African Storybook: Our Digital tools help you to create picture storybooks in the languages of Africa

About Us

Our Mission

Saide is committed to the process of transformation of education and training to increase equitable and meaningful access to knowledge, skills and learning through the adoption of open learning principles, across different modes of provision.

Our Vision

Our vision is a society in which all people value, have access to and succeed in lifelong education and training in the global knowledge economy.


Saide is a non-profit organization that is registered as an educational trust (Registration Number: 1355/92). It is also registered as a Non Profit Organisation (041-137 NPO). We currently have a level one B-BBEE status. Saide’s Trustees are: Mr S. Maslomoney (Co-Chairman), Dr S.J. Ramokgopa (Co-Chairman), Ms M. Metcalfe,  Prof S. Motala, Ms L Vilakazi-Tselane. Prof A. Bawa,  Prof T. Msibi and Ms JA Glennie (Director).  



Saide was initially entirely supported by the European Union. From 1995, Saide began to diversify its funding. In early 1997, Saide turned its attention to its financial sustainability around different sources of income: project grants with agreed deliverables, commissioned project income, general income from funding agencies (organizational grants), other (including interest, royalties, use of administrative services etc). The balance among these types has shifted dramatically, with no organizational grants since 2005. Saide is committed to balancing the above sources of income to ensure that it retains a strong committment to its mission and is not driven entirely by the 'market'.

What we do

Saide acts as an advocate, catalyst, and facilitator to bring about change in existing educational practices. Saide is in a unique position to facilitate networks and provide advice on the planning and implementation of educational programmes using different modes of provision. and, development, sharing and evaluation of courses and materials. Educational providers in South Africa and neighbouring countries have increasingly sought Saide's assistance in planning and evaluating their programmes, courses and systems and supporting them by facilitating professional development for their staff.

Saide is a non-governmental organization conducting projects throughout South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Saide's task is to contribute to the development of new models of open learning, including the use of distance education methods, educational technology and open educational resources. These should accord with and take forward the values, principles, and goals of the evolving education systems in the sub-Saharan Africa. 

Staff members

Our Services

Saide offers a number of services across all educational sectors – early childhood development, schooling, technical and vocational education, teacher education, higher education and community education. We work with educators and providers as well as policy makers to enable successful open learning which include increasing access and ensuring success for all.

Saide is committed to engaging and refining concepts and practices in opening learning, different modes of provision,  open educational resources(OER) and the use of technology for mediating learning. We share learnings and resources through our websites, newsletters and online platforms. Through our various projects and collaborative networks of relevant education communities, Saide supports capacity building across all our services.

Programme development and course design

  • Facilitate the development of programmes in which the principles of open learning are balanced to achieve both access and success
  • Lead and support collaborative course design processes in which learner support, assessment and course materials are integrated and learning is mediated through the use of appropriate technology


Materials design and development

  • Lead the design and development of materials that mediate learning in open learning and distance education courses
  • Build capacity in the design and development of learning and teaching support materials incorporating open educational resources in a variety of media 


Coordination of open learning initiatives

Act as the backbone organisation for inclusive collaborative open learning initiatives particularly in ensuring access and success:

  • guide vision and strategy
  • coordinate aligned activities
  • support the use of data in a shared measurement system for ongoing improvement
  • manage internal and external communications.
  • stimulate knowledge sharing 


Policy development and systemic reviews

  • Support the development of policy for opening learning, open education resources and different modes of educational provision
  • Conduct systemic reviews of educational implementation including different modes of provision from an open learning perspective

Educational technology

  • Research the use of technology in education and
  • Encourage and support appropriate use of technology in education

Educational Evaluation and Research

  • Evaluate the design and delivery of education programmes using various modes of provision
  • Evaluate education resources 
  • Conduct educational research in the fields of ECD, schooling, teacher education, TVET, higher education and the use of technology in education.
  • Collects and analyses qualitative and quantitative data (principally descriptive statistics).
  • Conduct reviews of existing literature and secondary data collected by third parties.


Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Stimulate and/or co-ordinate projects for the adaptation, development and use of OER
  • Encourage institutions to develop policies that promote the use, creation and sharing of OER
  • Identify and make available on various Saide platforms, such as OER Africa and African Storybook Initiative, high quality OER to meet the needs of African educational providers and users
  • Support and contribute to networks and communities of practice involved in the development and use of OER


Quality assurance/ Quality systems and criteria

  • Promote quality educational delivery by supporting institutions in developing appropriate quality assurance systems and through building capacity in quality assurance 


Since inception, Saide has developed and sustained an excellent reputation for the quality and effectiveness of its work, and for its ability to manage a wide range of projects. The project pages provide information on our projects, related services and staff involved. Where possible we include links to resources and outputs related to these projects. The search facility  can also be used to look for our resources.

In support of various COL education initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Pacific Island countries, Saide has been commissioned to work with institutions and government ministries to enhance access to quality education, including supporting:

  • Universities and open schools to design online and blended learning courses and to use appropriate technology for teaching and learning. For example, at one university, Saide supported the institution to redesign five modules for online delivery and to develop quality assurance rubrics. 
  • Institutions to develop quality assurance policies in using educational technology and in embracing employability. 
  • Education ministries to strengthen Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) systems.  

KnowHow Early Learning is a mobile and tablet  course application to facilitate self-guided group learning amongst early childhood practitioners and teachers.

KnowHow Early Learning aims to support young children to be ready for school and schools to be ready for young children. The intention is to empower untrained community ECD practitioners and primary school teachers to use interactive, holistic teaching methodologies. KnowHow Early Learning promotes collaboration between ECD centres and primary schools. KnowHow Early Learning is a key component of the ‘Early Learning Kiosk’ strategy of the Roger Federer Foundation.

KnowHow Early Learning is implemented across five Southern African countries, promoting synergies between the countries. KnowHow Early Learning is an activity-based, multimedia course, integrating the use of African Storybooks for young children.

The course is an open educational resource with a Creative Commons licence.


OER Africa was established in 2008 with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to collaborate with higher education institutions in Africa in the development and use of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER Africa is currently undertaking collaborative work to develop the professional competences and skills of stakeholders within African higher education institutions so that they can implement OER practices to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The website showcases Learning Pathways in the form of open education online tutorials, OER courseware, research and policies, as well as regular communications (“What’s New”) on topics of interest in open education.

Acting as a backbone organization, Saide with seven Partners (funded by the Kresge Foundation) and five Participant universities work together to improve student success through evidence based interventions at scale. The Network includes national and local network components. The National Network includes a coherent set of services focused on student success (provided by Partner universities as well as by Saide) and the USA based Achieving the Dream, five sub-networks, convening meetings with Partners and the annual conference. Partner institutions coordinate regional sub- networks and Saide coordinates the national network.

Saide’s African Storybook initiative helps overcome a major barrier to learning: the severe shortage of contextually appropriate storybooks and materials in indigenous languages for young African children learning to read through working with local language speakers, educators and artists to develop, publish and encourage use of such storybooks. Visit our platform for over 3 000 unique openly licensed picture storybooks in the languages of Africa for children, aged two to ten, for their literacy development, enjoyment and imagination. Over 200 languages of Africa are represented on the website, as well as tools to enable communities, particularly those whose languages are under-resourced, to translate, adapt and create storybooks in their languages.

ASb’s Reader App, enables parents and children to create a library on their device and to read storybooks even when they are offline. Its Maker App enables them to create their own picture storybooks offline and publish them when connected to the internet. The storybooks are immediately available in the Storybooks App category on the ASb website. Both Apps are downloadable from Google Play and the iStore.

We support organisations, educators and communities in developing storybooks - translating, creating and publishing them - and in effective use. Organisations needing our services, can approach us to run story development, publishing, preparing print runs and using the ASb website and its tools.



Mailing List

Join our mailing list


  • Saide
    14th Floor,
    19 Ameshoff Street,
    Braamfontein Johannesburg,
    South Africa
    -26.187392, 28.037548
  • Email
  • Phone
    +27 11-403-2813