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Shedding light on the huge untapped potential in the African publishing network, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Vice President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, said that IPA is committed to responding to the genuine needs of the African publishing industry, and help them gain the required momentum in the wider context of original content development and distribution.
Sheikha Bodour said: “We realise that each African country has a unique set of challenges in publishing, and we know that the journey of transformation is arduous. We are here to tell you that you will not walk it alone. Through IPA’s Africa seminar series, which we started last year in Lagos, we aim to give you momentum. We want to help you seize all the opportunities of cultural globalisation and digital publishing to gain presence in the mainstream global culture.”
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s speech was delivered during IPA’s second seminar in their regional Africa series in Nairobi, Kenya. The two-day seminar on 14th and 15th of June 2019 examined the challenges and opportunities in African publishing and its accelerating presence on the world stage. The event was inaugurated by IPA president, Hugo Setzer, and chair of the Kenya Publishers Association, Lawrence Njagi.
Titled ‘Africa Rising: Realising Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st Century’, the second edition of the seminar — which was organised in association with the Kenyan Publishers Association — addressed important themes such as copyright and piracy; self-censorship; the next generation of African writers and publishers; digital transformation and disruption of African publishing; the struggle to preserve indigenous languages; and several more through eight panel discussions.
It follows on the success of the inaugural IPA seminar in Lagos last year in May, held alongside the 17th Nigerian International Book Fair, where global publishing leaders convened to discuss the huge potential that lies untapped in the African publishing markets.
Sheikha Bodour added: “Through action-oriented projects, we aim to support you to leave your challenges behind and walk with confidence into a better future. We are also working with partners to make sure this series remains sustainable in the years to come because we understand that change requires time and continuous conversations”.
Thanking all IPA partners for making the series possible, she further added: “As you develop home-grown solutions to your unique challenges, create more readers and access global markets; we are here to support you. IPA’s efforts to sustain action plans for the African publishing sector are yielding results already… it’s a two-way collaboration where everyone is equally responsible for the outcome. As the African publishing sector progresses, everyone is going to be a winner.”