GOAALLL!!!! African publishers and international organisations form partnerships
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CTA. 1998. GOAALLL!!!! African publishers and international organisations form partnerships. Spore 76. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Partners in African publishing came together at two meetings, one held in Nairobi in February 1998, the other, in Dakar in March 1998
Partners in African publishing came together at two very fruitful meetings recently, one held in Nairobi in February, the other, in Dakar in March. They conducted lively, sometimes passionate, debates in a spirit of seeking cooperation. The two 'teams' in this friendly match were made up of representatives of African publishing: publishers, distributors and NGOs, on the one hand, and representatives of international organisations, including several United Nations agencies and research institutions such as CABI and CIRAD, on the other. The Nairobi meeting was for English-speaking regions and the Dakar meeting for French-speaking. The organiser, CODE-Europe, with substantial support from the World Bank and CTA, brought in other backers of African publishing such as the British Council and the United Nations University. On the agenda, inside and outside the meeting room, was the issue of further developing cooperation between international organisations and the African publishing sector, both to improve information dissemination, and to strengthen the capacity of African players to meet information needs at the national and regional level. No red or yellow cards were to be seen on the playing fields of Nairobi or Dakar, just lots of books, brochures, electronic media and documents. Instead of scoring points, participants set out to negotiate joint programmes. How to lower book prices and improve distribution in rural areas, develop new promotion strategies, translate material into African languages, use the Internet and network communication: these were among the topics debated during the time spent in working groups and plenary sessions, and sometimes way past the final whistle off the field. The meetings helped participants to better know each other, but above all to build the foundations for better cooperation, and even to launch joint projects, especially in the areas of co-publications, adaptation into local languages and distribution. The Nairobi meeting had immediate follow-up in the form of a discussion platform on the Internet, set up with the assistance of the World Bank. A summary report of both meetings will be published shortly by CTA together with CODE-Europe, ENDA Dakar and the African Publishers Network (APNET). Further reading: Technical Publishing in Africa, Report of the Arnhem seminar. CTA, 1994. ISBN 92 9081 103 X, CTA number 638, 10 credit points.
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