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Seminar on challenges, opportunities of publishing in Africa holds in Lagos

On Wednesday, May 9, publishers from around the world, under the auspices of International Publishers Association (IPA), will converge on Eko Hotel, Lagos, and deliberate on challenges...

Chairman, Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Publishes Association, Mr. Alli Semaka Okunade (left); Mrs. Folake Bademosi; president, Nigerian Publishers Association, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo; the association’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Abimbola and member, Mr. Olakunle Sogbein at the press briefing last… in Lagos

On Wednesday, May 9, publishers from around the world, under the auspices of International Publishers Association (IPA), will converge on Eko Hotel, Lagos, and deliberate on challenges and opportunities in Africa in a seminar of its kind on the continent. Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) made the announcement last week in Ikeja and released an outline of the issues to be discussed. The seminar will chart a path to future of publishing business on the continent.

President of Nigerian Publishers Association, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo, while addressing journalists, said, “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.

“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.”

Some of the most prominent and influential figures in the world of publishing will attend the seminar and is centred on the theme ‘Publishing for Sustainable Development: The Role of Publishers in Africa’ and will consist of six high level panel discussions. It will be held on the sidelines of the yearly Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF) scheduled for University of Lagos from May 7 through 12.

Some of the topics of discussion include 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 intellectual property (IP) laws.

According to Dr. Michiel Kolman, president of 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.

“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.”

Other publishing experts expected at the seminar include president of Publishers Association of South Africa, Brian Wafawarowa, president of Ghana Book Publishers Association, Elliot Agyare, MD of Norwegian Publishers Association, Kristenn Einarsson, and Secretary-General of IPA, José Borghino. President of Emirates Publishers Association, Bodour Al Qasimi, will deliver the closing speech.

Adedapo said the IPA seminar has benefited from support of partners like Emirates Publishers Association, Sharjah Publishing City, Emaar Properties PJSC, London Book Fair, National Aviation Services, American Association of Publishers, Norwegian Publishers Association, and Frankfurt Book Fair.

Other Nigerian publishers at the event who sued for support for the seminar included Mrs. Folake Bademosi of University Press Plc, NPA’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Abimbola, Lagos State chapter chairman of NPA, Mr. Alli Semaka Okunade, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Book Fair Trust (NBFT), Mr. Abiodun Omotubi.

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