Friday, 3 July 2009

Cape Town International Book Fair

Thanks to all those who have so generously helped us during our fieldwork in Cape Town - the Publishers Association of South Africa and colleagues at PRAESA who facilitated many of the meetings; the publishers, booksellers, book distributors and translators that we interviewed; and colleagues at the Centre for the Book, the South Africa Book Development Council, the Western Cape Education and literacy NGOs who helped complete the picture. Being in Cape Town around the time of the International Book Fair worked very well in allowing us to meet so many key players in a relation to the book industry.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Fieldwork in South Africa

The next major landmark in the project will be the visit of two members of the project team – Viv Edwards and Marriote Ngwaru – to Cape Town to coincide with the Cape Town International Book Fair. With the assistance of the Publishers' Association of South Africa, we are currently arranging meetings with key figures in the area of African language publishing for children who will be able to add their personal perspectives on current challenges and constraints. PASA publicized the work of the project through its email tree earlier in the year and we have already received a number of much appreciated offers of help. Anybody reading the blog with an interest in this field who would be able to spare an hour or so for an informal interview between 11 June and 3 July should contact us: and

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Stories Across Africa in Reading

The core team working on the Stories across Africa project – Michael Amatchew (Ethiopia), Carole Bloch (South Africa), Nadia El Khouly (Egypt), Arabella Koopman (South Africa), Joshua Madumulla (Tanzania), Susan Mukobwajana (Rwanda) – spent a very productive five days at the University of Reading between 23–27 March.

We were joined at various points by publishers, educationalists, book distributors, a librarian and a professional translator who helped to provide a broader context for our discussions of the issues facing African language publishing in general and the Stories across Africa project in particular: Barbara Graham from the Pokomo Mother Tongue Project in Kenya, Mary Jay from the African Books Collective, Elibariki Moshi of Mture Publishers in Tanzania, Akoss Ofori-Mensah of Sub-Saharan Publishers in Ghana, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa from the Publishing Department of Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana, Joseph O'Reilly of First Read, Viviana QuiƱones of La joie par les livres in France, Andy Smart, an Education and Publishing Consultant working in the Middle East and Africa, Tom Smith of Book Aid International and Wangui Wa Goro (Kenya and South Africa).

For a video newsclip reporting on the meeting, copy this link to your browser: