Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), on her tour of the pandemic publishing markets in Kenya.
Photo credit: Delivered
Sharjah: The President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Bodour Al Qasimi, has continued a tour of pandemic publishing markets and visited Kenya, whose national publishing industry is one of many affected by COVID-19.
Al Qasimi met local publishers and the leadership of IPA member Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) as part of an IPA initiative to promote global publishing. Her arrival in Kenya follows a trip to Egypt in early January to meet the Arab Publishers Association (APA) and the Egyptian Publishers Association (EPA), two other organizations concerned about their industry’s post-COVID prospects.
On both occasions, Al Qasimi presented the IPA’s vision for 2021 to develop strategies to make full use of the global publishing industry again and to make its crucial contribution to education, social development and the knowledge-based economy.
Speaking to KPA officials and Kenyan publishers, Al Qasimi said: “The pandemic has exposed some important problems in the publishing world and its effects are still being felt. For this reason we are putting together a cross-sectoral task force made up of publishers, authors, illustrators, dealers, wholesalers, printers and like-minded people. We will involve all stakeholders along the value chain and create a roadmap that will help the book industry become more resilient and evolve for the benefit of all. “
Meeting in Kenya
In Nairobi, Al Qasimi also met the Kenyan member of the IPA Committee of the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF), Lawrence Njagi, and local innovators who had received APIF grants in 2020. This included the journalist and storyteller Maimouna Jallow, whose project “Positively African” used the grant to develop a collection of short stories for a three-part radio play called “Tales of the Accidental City”, which will be released into a film on February 13th was converted.
The IPA President also visited the Makadara and Kaloleni branches of the historic McMillan Memorial Library in Nairobi. Both buildings are being lovingly restored by the Book Bunk Trust, thanks in part to an APIF grant of 50,000 USD (approx.183,650 Dh) for the Kaloleni project, which was completed in July 2020, and a separate donation from the Sharjah World Book Capital project for the Makadara work.