The International Publishers Association (IPA) held a milestone seminar in Lagos last week and had major publishers from across the world in attendance.One of the significant sessions was the panel on ‘The Role of Technology in Overcoming Illiteracy and Promoting a Reading Culture’ that pointed out new directions, particularly for African publishers, who are used to the old ways of publishing books only between covers.
The panel stressed how publishers could leverage on the various digital platforms to reach the millenials, effectively distribute and curb piracy of books.
The panel included Kenya’s CEO of CIO East Africa, Harry Hare, founder of Nigeria’s Okada Books, Okechukwu Ofili, founder of Ghana’s AkooBooks Audio, Ama Dadson, and Sierra Leone’s Africa Director of Educational Technology Solutions, Edify, Godwin Fiagbor, and South Africa’s Masennya Dikotla and CEO of Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy moderated the session. The panel discussed promising new approaches to publishing and how to leverage technology to address illiteracy and promote reading in Africa.
In his postulation, Hare enlightened the audience on how ICT broadens access to education and literacy.
He argued that there has been a global change in the way information is being passed across, noting that there is a paradigm shift from the paper print to technology as platforms for engaging the written matter and that young people now find the book anachronistic.
According to him, “To serve in today’s world in magazine production, we needed to do things differently.
All industries are being disrupted and publishing is no exception. What that means is that we need to go with the modern trend and become the disruptors.
We have a huge opportunity to take advantage of the numerous digital facilities available to us. Let’s stop talking about books; let’s start talking about content because the way information was consumed in the past is different from the way it’s being consumed today.
These days, information has gone digital and we need to start discussing about how to transform the publishing industry from the traditional print form to digital publishing.