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Lawrence Njagi, Gbadega Adedapo and Edward Nawotka

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was confirmed as a keynote speaker among others including the co-founders of Publiseer, Elinor Sisulu, and many more at a session on publishing in Africa.

Moderated by Publishers Weekly’s Edward Nawotka, Laurence Njagi (Chair of the Kenya Publishers Association) and Gbadega Adedapo (President of the Nigeria Publishers Association) talked about last year’s 1st Seminar in Lagos and the exciting line-up for the 2019 Regional Seminar in Nairobi.

They confirmed that Leading figures in African writing and publishing will attend the second International Publishers Association Africa Seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, on 14-15 June in what promises to be one of the largest and most important gatherings of the African book industry for many years.

Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, one of the ‘fathers’ of African writing and the man whom Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes as “one of the greatest writers of our time”, will deliver a welcome address at Nairobi, while other speakers include the novelist Peter Kimani whose last novel Dance of the Jakarandawas a New York TimesEditors’ Choice, and John O Asein, Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.  

The seminar, organised by the IPA together with the Kenya Publishers Association, will also see speakers from the United Arab Emirates (Bodour Al Qasimi, Vice-President of the IPA), the UK (Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo, Founder of Digital Back Books) and Norway (Kristenn Einarsson, Managing Director of the Norwegian Publishers Association and Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee).

Sessions will cover education; copyright protection and piracy; developing the next generation of Africa’s publishers, writers and artists; digital disruption; the threat of self-censorship; how to create tomorrow’s readers; the struggle to preserve Africa’s indigenous languages; and the need for data.

Among the stellar line-up are:

  • Lawrence Njagi – Chair, Kenya Publishers Association (Kenya)
  • Samuel Kolawole – Chair, African Publishers Network (Nigeria)
  • Ernest Oppong – Acting Executive Director, African Publishers Network (Ghana)
  • Anges Félix Ndakpri – President, Ivory Coast Publishers Association (Cote D’Ivoire)
  • Brian Wafawarowa – Former President, Publishers Association of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Chidi and Chika Nwaogu – Co-founders, Publiseer
  • Dora Susan Salamba-Makwinja, Executive Director of the Copyright Society of Malawi
  • Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele – Co-founder of the Cheeky Natives (South Africa) books podcast
  • Khanya Mncwabe – Centre Coordinator, PEN South Africa (South Africa)
  • John Mwazemba – General Manager, Oxford University Press East Africa (Kenya)
  • Petina Gappah – Author and Lawyer (Zimbabwe)
  • Elinor Sisulu - Executive Director of Puku Children’s Literature Foundation (South Africa)

Read the full press release for more information on the speakers here.

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