This two-part article is a sequel to a two-part paper published in Logos in 2008–2009. It provides a round-up of the current situation of the book industry in Africa today (primarily that in English-speaking sub-Saharan Africa), together with a brief review of the activities of the various organizations that have supported African publishing over the years. Part 1 examines the persistent failure of African governments to support their book industries and public libraries in a tangible and positive fashion. It reviews the current status of book development councils in Africa, the unsatisfactory progress in establishing national book policies, the challenges of generating book industry data, and the opportunities presented to African publishers by the new digital environment. An Appendix provides a list of conferences, meetings, and seminars on publishing and book development held in Africa between 1968 and 2019. Part 2 of this article will appear in Logos, 30 (4).
This is the second instalment of a two-part article. Part 1 of this article appeared in Logos, 30 (3). Part 2 sets out a number of suggestions to strengthen the book industries in Africa, and the way forward, especially on capacity- and skills-building; training for book industry personnel; strengthening book professional associations, South–South linkages, and knowledge-sharing; encouraging international collaboration; the need for ongoing research and documentation; African books in the global marketplace; and the important but still neglected area of publishing in African indigenous languages. An Appendix provides a summary of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) meetings on the African book industry, held in Nairobi in June 2019, together with links to a number of articles, reports, and press statements about the meetings.
The 16 chapters in this book form a Festschrift in honour of Henry Chakava, the distinguished Kenyan publisher who is widely recognized as one of Africa’s most dynamic and innovative publishers, as well as a prolific author of articles and studies on many aspects of publishing and the book sector in Africa.