Bodour Al Qasimi Reiterates IPA’s Commitment to
Help Africa Reach Market Potential
- IPA’s second regional seminar in Africa address talent and readership development, digital opportunities, copyright protection and freedom to publish
Nairobi, 16 June 2019: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 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.”
About the International Publishers Association (IPA)
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of national, regional and specialist publishers’ associations. With membership that comprises 81 organisations from 69 countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas, the IPA represents thousands of individual publishers around the world who service markets containing more than 5.6 billion people.
Founded in 1896 in Paris by the leading publishers at the time, its initial aim was to ensure that countries throughout the world showed respect for copyright, and properly implemented the (then) new international copyright treaty, the ‘Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works’. Today the promotion and defence of copyright is still one of IPA’s main objectives.
The IPA also promotes and defends freedom to publish, a fundamental aspect of the human right to freedom of expression. Likewise, the IPA stands for the promotion of literacy and reading, and has always been a meeting place for publishers to network, exchange views and conduct business.
The IPA is an accredited non-governmental organisation (NGO) enjoying consultative relations with the United Nations.