As delegates gather in Jordan, speakers are talking technology, literacy in areas of violent conflict, and challenges to the freedom to publish.
‘Her Majesty Queen Rania is a leading voice in the region,’ says Bodour Al Qasimi, whose patronage adds impact to the IPA’s coming seminar in Amman.
Citing figures that show only 14 percent of South Africans reading books, the South African Book Fair and indigenous language festivals address the issue.
In a first-time focus on the Middle East’s publishing industry, the International Publishers Association is planning a regional event in the Jordanian capital.
At the International Publishers Association’s Africa Seminar in Nairobi, the IPA’s lead on inclusivity and literacy looks at issues and trends.
In opening the second International Publishers Association Africa Seminar event in Kenya, IPA president Hugo Setzer quotes Desmond Tutu on ubuntu: ‘You can’t exist as a human being in isolation.’
In a warm welcome to the ‘Africa Rising’ conference delegates in Nairobi, Kenya Publishers Association chair Lawrence Njagi warns that without more indigenous-language publishing, children could face losing some of their lingistic identity.
A ‘lack of imagination on the part of publishers is hampering the development of a reading culture in Kenya,’ says the Kenyan author Peter Kimani.
Currently, Nielsen Book tracks books sales data in one African country, but Andre Breedt says there are plans to expand sales tracking across the continent.
At the Nairobi IPA Africa Seminar in June, Gbadega Adedapo will lead a discussion on the ‘Lagos Action Plan’–set in motion at last year’s Nigerian seminar.