Empowering Indigenous Publishers Through Collective Action: The African Publishers’ Network (APNET)
Dafina Blacksher Diabate
Thesis DT 3.5 2003 D53
xiii, 154 leaves: ill.; 28 cm.
This thesis examines the African Publishers' Network (APNET) in its quest to empower indigenous publishers. APNET is a pan-African network of national publishers' associations, representing publishers throughout the African continent. As cultural institutions wielding strategic influence over the population, indigenous book publishers can and should play a critical role in the process of decolonization.
This thesis probes the nature of publishing development in African countries, utilizing selected cases of Anglophone countries as illustrations. An analysis of the primary and secondary textbook industry as a microcosm of the larger publishing context exposes the numerous obstacles confronting indigenous publishing houses in their endeavor to provide quality, affordable, relevant book for African readers. The actions and philosophies of African publishing professionals shape the existing landscape; therefore, it was important to locate their voices within the analysis. Based on a qualitative research method, the author used in-depth interview data collected at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2002 to inform this work.
Some of the factors that impede the success of these African entrepreneurs include insufficient capital, limited capacity, pervasive poverty and high illiteracy rates of potential customers, as well as the combined impact of European publishers' monopoly of the African market and inefficient government participation in publishing. While many publishers devise ingenious strategies to further their enterprise, the contemporary climate begs for a unified solution.
APNET represents a proactive initiative, drawing from the strengths of decolonization provide the framework for analyzing APNET's structure and activities. Centering the work of this continental alliance, this thesis asserts that the collective strategy of the organization enhances its ability to effect positive change. In its mission to promote publishing development, APNET operates as an agent of decolonization by decreasing Africa's dependence on the North for its book needs.