Bodour outlines plans to fortify future of global publishing - GulfToday

Bodour outlines plans to fortify future of global publishing


Bodour Al Qasimi, IPA President, during the Trailblazing women in publishing session.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Highlighting the various new initiatives through which the International Publishers Association (IPA) is trying to sustainably level up global publishing and empower its stakeholders as they rebuild in the post-pandemic era, Bodour Al Qasimi, IPA President, has engaged in key discussions with industry professionals representing diverse markets during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) 2022.

Speaking at a discussion session titled, ‘Taking stock: Where does global publishing go from here?’ organised by IPA for the Bologna BookPlus programme, Bodour Al Qasimi went straight to the point, identifying copyright, freedom to publish, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and technology and innovation as the ecosystem’s key priorities going forward as they would lead to opportunities to strengthen global collaboration and solidarity between publishers. These priorities, she said, were set during the InSPIRE initiative’s workshops and symposium attended by publishers, authors, book fairs’ representatives, literacy and free expression advocates from around the world earlier in January and February.

Reflecting on the inclusive spirit at the heart of IPA’s InSPIRE initiative, which undertook an unprecedented goal of engaging with publishing executives from over 30 countries to understand their vision of the way forward for the industry, the IPA president asserted that this new initiative is making a major contribution towards supporting and mobilising especially those markets that have lagged behind in their recovery since being hit by the global health crisis. She also congratulated the global publishing industry in attendance on truly understanding the role of ecosystem solidarity, especially in the past couple of years, and making a conscious effort to unite in its shared vision for the sector’s future.

An ardent supporter of the African publishing community, Bodour Al Qasimi joined a discussion titled Spotlight on Africa: Innovators of African publishing, where she reiterated IPA’s continued support for the African markets, highlighting the importance of applying innovation to business models, strategies and skills in order to create an industry fit for the future.

She also assured that African publishers will have IPA’s full support to promote local talent and publishing in native languages, underlining that doing so will not only invigorate and strengthen the industry’s value chain but also make the African publishing sector a global contender in the industry.

The IPA President concluded her engagements with an inspiring speech at a talk, Trailblazing women in publishing, organised by PublisHer, an Industry-led movement founded by Bodour to bring gender equality to the world of publishing. She stressed that diversity and inclusion were no longer a nice thing to have, but rather at the core of the publishing business’ growth and sustainability.

Adding that more voices will create a bigger impact, the IPA President asserted that PublisHer would continue to empower female industry stakeholders with through as much training, mentoring, research, networking, and change tool kits as much as possible.

The recently-concluded book fair which ran its 59th edition from March 21 – 24 hosted Sharjah as Guest of Honour.

Earlier, in celebration of Sharjah’s prestigious Guest of Honour title at the 59th Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), the emirate hosted a galaxy of international authors, publishers, and representatives of Italy’s cultural institutions at a celebratory dinner at Palazzo Re Enzo, a historic 13th-century building in the city of Bologna, Italy.

Prominent dignitaries from the UAE at the dinner included Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, who is heading the emirate’s Guest of Honour delegation at the book fair; Bodour Al Qasimi, President of International Publishers Association (IPA); Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), Mauro Felicori, Minister of Culture of Emilia Romagna region and Glanpiero Calzolari, Director of BCBF.

The event was an embodiment of the close relations between Sharjah and Bologna, and held at the venue in which the first edition of BCBF was organised 59 years ago. Each guest table displayed the name of one of Sharjah’s cities or attractions, namely, Al Hira, Al Thaid, Al Wosta, Al Sharqan, Khorfakkan, Al Qasba, Flag Island and Al Majaz, among others.

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