During her recent overseas stopovers at Tunisia and Morocco, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), met with representatives of L’Union des Editeurs Tunisiens (The Union of Tunisian Publishers) and L’Union Professionnelle des Editeurs du Maroc – UPEM (The Professional Union of Publishers of Morocco).
Over two separate meetings, they discussed several issues on enhancing interaction with the international publishing community as part of its efforts to advance the publishing industry at a global level and enabling Arab publishers to benefit more from the opportunities available through such interactions.
On her visit to the capital city Tunis, Al Qasimi met with representatives of the Tunisian publishers’ union, who hailed the efforts of the IPA in providing them insights into its initiatives and projects. Discussions on ways to enhance cooperation and facilitate access to global markets were discussed in length, something which the Tunisian publishers have always considered important, taking into account the region’s strategic location in the Mediterranean Basin, which includes southern Europe.
Al Qasimi’s meeting with Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), at the organization’s Tunis headquarters addressed a number of issues related to the publishing industry, foremost of which was the challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, skills development of publishers, and the need for greater cooperation between IPA and ALECSO on copyright issues and freedom to publish.
During her visit to the Moroccan port city of Casablanca – home to some of the most prominent local publishing houses and famous for its international book fair, the largest and one of the most significant annual events in Moroccan literature – Al Qassimi met a group of Moroccan publishers who expressed their gratitude to the interest shown by the IPA in identifying their needs and finding solutions for the challenges they are going through, while at the same time listening to their opinions about the future of publishing in Morocco and the region.
The President of IPA provided a rundown of the initiatives and projects of the IPA designed to empower industry stakeholders to boost their recovery and growth, post-COVID. She also called on the publishers of both countries to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the IPA to stimulate growth.
Members of both publishers’ unions were also invited by the IPA President to attend the 33rd International Publishers Congress to be held in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in November 2022.
They were also encouraged to submit projects and ideas to benefit from the financial grants provided by the African Publishing Innovation Fund (APIF), which was launched in 2019 as a partnership between the IPA and Dubai Cares, a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications.