Two hundred participants gathered in Lagos, Nigeria, to attend the first IPA Regional Seminar on publishing in Africa, co-organized by the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA). The seminar brought together publishers and related professionals from Africa and beyond, and led to the development of the Lagos Action Plan.

Opening proceedings, NPA president and IPA executive committee member Gbadega Adedapo called on seminar participants to devise a ‘Lagos Action Plan 2018’, to drive the African publishing industry forward.

IPA President, Dr Michiel Kolman, warned against African governments being used as proxies in big tech’s efforts to weaken copyright protections, and stressed the interconnectivity of global publishing. He said: ‘The challenges faced in Nigeria today may be those faced somewhere else tomorrow. And the solutions of one government may inspire another.’

The seminar’s six panels examined the socio-economic contribution of the publishing industry in Africa; educational publishing; bringing the voice of African writers, publishers and content creators to the world; the role of technology in overcoming illiteracy and promoting a reading culture; addressing freedom to publish challenges in Africa; and enhancing enforcement of copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws.