Kenya’s dominance over the African publishing scene manifested itself when a Kenyan publisher was elected to the board of African Publishers Network (Apnet), towards the end of last year.
Lawrence Njagi, the chief executive of Mountain Top Publishers, was elected chairman of the board while Kiarie Kamau, the managing director of East African Educational Publishers (EAEP), is the new East African regional representative of Apnet. Kiarie is also the chairman of Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), taking over from Njagi in April last year.
Apnet is the umbrella body of publishers in Africa, made up of 55 nations. Membership to Apnet is through national publisher’s bodies like KPA in Kenya. Apnet is in turn a member of the International Publishers Association (IPA).
Apart from taking care of the welfare of African publishers, Apnet promotes the book and book related issues in the continent. “Apnet also promotes cultural and linguistic exchanges in Africa,” explains Njagi. “We also ensure that African publishing gets spotlight at international forums, like the Frankfurt Book Fair, which was held in October.”
On his part, Kiarie considers his election to Apnet’s board “a double blessing," having also been elected chairman of the Kenya Publishers Association this year. “Two major posts of leadership in Publishing in Kenya and in Africa is no mean achievement, more so happening within the same year,” he says.
being elected chairman of Apnet, Njagi had been the treasurer, a position he
had occupied for 12 years. He explains that before 2010, Apnet had been
moribund, being operated by one person without the involvement of other
members. “The first thing we did upon taking back control of Apnet was to put
up structures and to ensure the body was running professionally,” explains