If last year’s inaugural IPA Africa Seminar in Lagos was a much needed wake-up call to a global publishing industry that had largely ignored the world’s second largest continent, the 2nd incarnation in Nairobi in June will elevate the debate to the next level.

From the IPA press release:

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.

A “stellar line-up” is led by 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.

Other speakers include,

other speakers include the novelist Peter Kimani whose last novel Dance of the Jakaranda was a New York Times’ Editors’ Choice, and John O Asein, Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.


  • 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)

For the IPA, Bodour Al-Qasimi will be co-hosting the show with the Kenya Publishers Association.
From the UK Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo, founder of Digital Back Books) will be speaking, along with Norway’s 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.

Many more details about the line-up can be found in the IPA Press Release.