IPA Secretary General José Borghino participated in thsecond edition of the African Publishers Conference which was held in Harare, Zimbabwe on 34 June, 2024.

The Conference was organized by IPA member the African Publishers Network (APNET) and hosted by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) at its headquarters in Harare. The theme for meeting was Enhancing the Capacity of African Publishing Industry for the Promotion of Literacy.

Borghino delivered a presentation setting out IPA’s work on literacy through our Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee (IPLC). He also spoke about the ongoing importance for Africa of the IPA’s two policy pillars: copyright and freedom to publish. 

Focussing on copyright, he stressed the need for IPA members to advocate directly with their governments to strengthen national and regional laws supporting publishers, especially when it comes to enforcement and anti-piracy. He highlighted the IPA’s recent coordination of our African members in the negotiations around the IP protocol of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement. And he spoke about the IPA’s decade-long battle at the World Intellectual Property Organisation to fight against calls from African and Latin American member states for broadened exceptions for copyright in education.

In the realm of freedom to publish, Borghino praised the African recipients of the Prix Voltaire, IPA’s award for publishers who have shown outstanding bravery in the face of intimidation, threats and incarceration: Trevor Ncube from Zimbabwe, Zapiro from South Africa, and Khaled Lotfy from Egypt. He appealed for more African based publishers to sponsor the Prix Voltaire at a time when governments are increasing their attacks on publishers in Africa and elsewhere. 

While in Harare, Borghino was able to meet with Executive Committee Directors Chief Uchenna Anioke from Nigeria and Lawrence Njagi from Kenya, as well as representatives from IPA members from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.