By Japhet Alakam
Nigeria is set to host the gathering of some of the most prominent and influential figures from the world of publishing in what is tagged the International Publishers Association (IPA) seminar.
The occasion which will be the first of its kind is scheduled to hold on May 9th at the Eko Hotels,Victoria Island, Lagos and will discuss among other things, the major challenges and opportunities that could dictate the future of the industry across Africa.
Speaking about the all important event, Mr Gbadega Adedapo, President of the Nigeria Publishers Association(NPA) said that the seminar will be structured around the theme ‘Publishing for Sustainable Development:The Role of Publishers in Africa’,and will consist of six-panel discussions to be held on the sidelines of the Nigeria International Book Fair. Highlighting the global importance of the seminar, he stated that it will feature international panelists from across the continent and beyond, representing many of the IPA’s 76 members from 65 countries.
The seminar which will be declared open by Dr Michiel Kolman, President of the IPA, will discuss on the following topics:the publishing industry’s socio-economic contribution to Africa; strengthening African educational publishing; bringing the voice of African writers and publishers to the world; the role of technology in overcoming illiteracy and promoting reading; addressing freedom to publish challenges in Africa; and enhancing enforcement of copyright and IP laws.
According to Dr Michiel Kolman, President of the IPA: “This seminar reflects the importance of the African publishing industry and its potential in terms of both cultural and economic progress. The topics up for discussion not only highlight the challenges being faced; they also explore a diverse set of possible solutions.”
He concluded: “While every nation is different and each market unique, there are still many common goals for publishers across the African continent and this gathering of such distinguished and accomplished guests will certainly help to establish those and move forward in both ambition and action.”
Apart from Dr Kolman, the seminar will host Gbadega Adedapo, President of the Nigerian Publishers Association; Brian Wafawarowa, President of the Publishers Association of South Africa; Elliot Agyare, President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association;Kristenn Einarsson, MD of the Norwegian Publishers Association; and José Borghino, Secretary-General of the IPA. Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the Emirates Publishers Association will deliver the closing speech.
Gbadega Adedapo, President of the Nigerian Publishers Association, further stated thats: “This event is extremely important for the International Publishers Association, the African publishing industry, and Nigeria in particular. Not since the 29th International Publishers Association Congress, held in 2012, has there been a more important international event that focuses on the significant progress the African publishing industry is making.”
He added: “Publishing, Literacy and Access to books are prerequisites for success in life and the development of our countries and continent. We must always remember that strong publishing industries and national cultures of reading are the foundations for socio-economic development and are critical for participation in most areas of life.”