In March, WIPO’s Deputy Director General Sylvie Forbin announced the launch of the first mentorship pilot projects within the Publishers Circle initiative.
As stated in the announcement letter: “The objective is to offer opportunities to publishers from developing countries who signed the Charter (see below) to learn from the experience of established publishers in more developedcountries through a one-week training.”
The creation of the Publishers Circle fulfills one of the commitments made at the Regional High Level Conference on the Publishing Industry in Africa and its Role in Education and Economic Growthorganized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Arts and Culture of the Republic of Cameroon in November 2017. The conference served to discuss a comprehensive action plan to promote the Publishing Industry and Access to Educational Materialand a Charter of commitments. According to the Charter, the Publishers Circle “is an open-ended, voluntary, free of charge and transparent structure, based on expressed interest by the signatories. Participants in the Circle may include, but are not limited to publishers, authors, government and non-profit institutions, international organizations, financial and development institutions.” The Charter remains open for signature. In addition to IPA, several of our members and individual publishing companies have already signed, to mark their commitment to this collaborative initiative.
WIPO is currently looking for applications of publishers who want to act as mentors and beneficiaries of this program. The pilot will serve as a first step in the path of developing effective collaborations between publishers in developing and developed countries. According to WIPO’s communication, “this initiative aims to foster new forms of cooperation and joint projects with public and private partners who are committed to achieving concrete results with the common goal of helping to develop a viable, globally connected and effective publishing sector in Africa.”
See the action plan and the Charterhere.