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In 2017, writer Sylvia Arthur packed up her belongings, including what remained of her personal library, and left London for Accra, the capital of Ghana, her parent’s home country. Driven out of the U.K. by the high cost of living and hostile political environment, she sought peace in West Africa.

Part of feeling at home in Ghana was down to the fact that her complete book collection, over 1,300 works collected over two decades predominantly by writers of African descent, had long been in her mother’s house in Kumasi. Overcome by guilt that the books weren’t being read, and seeing the need for contemporary, culturally-relevant literature, she decided to open her library, Libreria Ghana, to the public to give people access to books that weren’t easily obtainable and amplify the voices of Black writers on the continent.