40 African publishers’ associations gathered ahead of a two-day seminar in Nairobi as International Publishers Association signed Memoranda of Understanding with the African Publishers Network and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa to formalise the IPA’s commitment to the region.
With the International Publishers Association about to open its two-day celebration of African publishing under the theme Africa Rising: Realizing Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st Century,the signings accompanied detailed discussions of concrete actions of support and collaboration that could be implemented rapidly.
The Memoranda of Understanding confirmed the three organisations’ commitment to strengthening the IPA’s Regional Seminars further as well as developing campaigns around education and literacy. Straight after the signing, the three organisations took advantage of the presence of the heads of 40 African publishers’ associations to set out the first steps of the newly formalised partnerships.
IPA President, Hugo Setzersaid: In recent years IPA has stepped up its commitment to our African members. Today’s historic agreements with our Associate Member, APNET and ADEA, show that we are committed to walking the walk and not just talking the talk. All the right ingredients are present in so many African nations for thriving publishing industries that will drive education and share the diversity of cultures this wonderful continent has to offer. IPA will continue to support African publishers as they realise that potential.
Samuel Kolawole, Chairman of the African Publishers Network added: Today's signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between APNET and IPA is a historic and important event on many fronts. It signified the intention of IPA to engage African publishers on the level of mutual respect. It marks the formalisation and documentation of a cooperation that seeks to address issues facing African Publishing from inside out by engaging stakeholders to establish the issues and generate solutions, rather than bringing solutions from outside the continent. This is a cooperation that will impact positively, not only on the business of publishing in Africa, but also on the quality of education across Africa.
Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA said: The signing of the memorandum of understanding with IPA is an important milestone for ADEA particularly in relation to improving quality of education through improved or enhanced teaching and learning. ADEA as a whole considers the issue of national books and the reading culture as one key to unlock the challenges of quality of education in Africa. It is therefore important that, following this signing, we both take the opportunity to come up with concrete actions that will support, on the one side, the African publishing industry, and, on the other side, making sure countries put in place instruments that will support the national book industry and everyday culture in particular.
ADEA is a pan-African forum for policy dialogue on education policies that informs and facilitates the transformation of education and training to drive sustainable development in Africa. ADEA promotes innovative policies and practices through pooling and disseminating ideas, successful strategies and innovations among governments, development agencies and civil society organizations.
The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of publishers’ associations with 81 members in 69 countries. Established in 1896, the IPA is an industry body with a human rights mandate. The IPA’s mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development. Working in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and numerous international NGOs, the IPA champions the interests of book and journal publishing at national and supranational level. Internationally, the IPA actively opposes censorship and promotes copyright, freedom to publish (including through the IPA Prix Voltaire), and literacy.
APNET is a pan-African, non-profit, collaborative network that connects African publishing associations to exchange information and promote and strengthen indigenous publishing. Through networking, training and trade promotion activities, APNET aims to support publishers meet Africa’s need for quality books relevant to African social, political, economic and cultural reality.