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APIF presents 'Spotlight on Africa' at Frankfurt Book Fair 2022

This year at Frankfurt Book Fair the APIF is mounting a collective stand for past grant winners, where we'll stage a half-day 'Spotlight on Africa' seminar on Thursday 20th October. The stand is in Hall 4.1, H102, and attendance is free and open.

Detailed below, we have three panels where experts will explore accessible publishing, education and reading during a pandemic, and the changing role of libraries in Africa.

The APIF's presence in Frankfurt follows the success of the inaugural Spotlight on Africa program, at Bologna Children's Book Fair, in March this year (pictured). 



Thursday 20th October - Frankfurt Book Fair, Hall 4.1, H102

10:00 - 10:05
Welcome address
(speaker TBC)

10:05 - 10:10
Opening Remarks: Bodour Al Qasimi – President, International Publishers Association 

10:10 - 11:10
PANEL 1: Promoting Inclusive Publishing in Africa

While the Marrakesh Treaty played a strong role in raising awareness of the need to accommodate people with reading disabilities, the global pandemic exposed the strong business case for producing accessible books to many publishers in developing publishing markets for the first time. In Africa, the pandemic drove the adoption of accessibility standards and assistive technologies. As a result, African publishers are increasingly adopting digital publishing and targeting new audiences. Drawing on the experience of the APIF recent current grant cycle, which is focused on accessible publishing, this panel will discuss the importance of accessible publishing.

  • (Moderator) Brian Wafawarowa – Chief Content & Product Officer, Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd
  • Lawrence Njagi – Founder & Managing Director, Mountain Top Publishers
  • GautierChomel – Consultant, Trainer & Project Manager, éditadapt for DAISY Consortium
  • Akoss Ofori-Mensah – Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Publishers
  • Will Clurman – Co-founder & CEO, eKitabu

11:10 - 12:10
PANEL 2: Keeping Students in School and Books in the Hands of Readers in a Pandemic

UNICEF estimates that Africa had one of the highest pre-pandemic levels of out of school children in the world, at 100 million, but the shift to online schooling posed a challenge for which many African education systems and governments were unprepared. As education moved online, many publishers and teachers struggled to adapt. The situation was further complicated by longstanding issues that have led to insufficient spending on social infrastructure, like libraries, and a wide urban-rural connectivity gap. That's why the APIF's 2021 grant cycle targeted remote and community-led innovations to keep students in school and provide communities with infrastructure to access books. This panel will delve into how Fund beneficiaries are working with publishers, teachers, libraries, governments, and civil society to keep students in school and books in the hands of readers.

  • (Moderator) Angela Wachuka – Publisher / Co-founder, Book Bunk
  • Kumuriwor Alira Bushiratu – Co-founder, Learners Girls Foundation
  • Amos Kipeen – Co-founder & Director, OliveSeed Kenya
  • Elinor Sisulu – Founder and Executive Director, Puku Foundation
  • Amina Hachimi Alaoui –– Director, Yanbow Al Kitab

12:10 - 12:15
Keynote: Juergen Boos – President, CEO, Frankfurt Book Fair

11:15 - 13:15
PANEL 3: Transforming African Libraries

Libraries enrich communities through access to knowledge, entertainment, and lifelong learning, but, in many African countries, libraries face a variety of challenges which prevent them from serving this role. At the same time, globally, libraries are being challenged to remain relevant by transitioning from lending books to becoming economic incubators, cultural hubs, and experiential learning centers. There are a number of efforts in Africa and globally which are working to transform African libraries to align with their changing role in communities. This session will discuss the ongoing importance of libraries in sustainable development and how they can start a new chapter to improve relevancy and better support community needs and national priorities.

  • (Moderator)  Wanjiru Koinange  Author / Co-founder, Book Bunk
  • Chirikure Chirikure – Nemashakwe Community Library and Resource Centre
  • Alison Tweed – Chief Executive Officer, Book Aid International
  • Alissa Everett – Founder & Executive Director, Exposing Hope
  • Patrick Musafiri – Senior Education Technical Specialist, Save the Children Rwanda

13:15 - 13:20
Closing: Ben Steward – Program Manager, APIF