Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the IPA, 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 upgrade global publishing and empower its stakeholders as they rebuild in the post-pandemic era, Bodour Al Qasimi , President of the IPA, engaged in key discussions with industry professionals representing various markets at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) 2022.
Speaking during a panel discussion titled ‘Taking Stock: Where Does Global Publishing Go From Here?’ organized by the IPA for the Bologna BookPlus programme, Bodour Al Qasimi cut to the chase, identifying copyright, freedom to publish, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and technology and innovation as the top priorities for the ecosystem going forward, as they would lead to opportunities for enhanced global collaboration and solidarity among publishers. These priorities, she said, were defined during the InSPIRE initiative workshops and symposium attended by publishers, authors, book fair representatives, literacy and freedom advocates. of expression from around the world in January and February.
Reflecting on the inclusive spirit at the heart of IPA’s InSPIRE initiative, which has set the unprecedented goal of engaging with publishing leaders from over 30 countries to understand their vision for way forward for the industry, the IPA Chairman affirmed that this new initiative makes a major contribution to supporting and mobilizing, especially those markets which have lagged in their recovery since being affected by the global health crisis. She also commended the global publishing industry present for truly understanding the role of ecosystem solidarity, especially over the past two years, and for making a conscious effort to unite in their shared vision of the future of the sector.
A strong supporter of the African publishing community, Bodour Al Qasimi participated in a discussion titled Spotlight on Africa: Innovators in African Publishing, where she reiterated IPA’s continued support for African markets, highlighting the importance of applying innovation to business models, strategies and skills in order to create an industry ready for the future.
She also assured that African publishers will have the full support of the IPA to promote local talent and mother tongue publishing, stressing that this will not only invigorate and strengthen the industry’s value chain, but will also make of the African publishing sector a global competitor in the industry.
The IPA President concluded her pledges with an inspirational speech at a conference, Trailblazing Women in Publishing, organized by PublisHer, an industry-led movement founded by Bodour to bring gender equality to the world of editing. She emphasized that diversity and inclusion was no longer a nice thing to have, but rather central to the growth and sustainability of the publishing industry.
Adding that more voices will create greater impact, the IPA President affirmed that PublisHer would continue to empower female industry stakeholders through so much training, mentorship, research, networking and toolkits. tools of change as possible.
The recently concluded book fair which held its 59th edition from March 21-24 welcomed Sharjah as its guest of honour.
Earlier, to celebrate Sharjah’s prestigious Guest of Honor title at the 59th Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), the emirate hosted a galaxy of international authors, publishers and institution representatives Italian cultural figures during a celebratory dinner at Palazzo Re Enzo, a historic 13th century building in the city of Bologna, Italy.
Prominent UAE dignitaries present at the dinner included Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, who leads the emirate’s delegation of honored guests at the book fair; Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA); Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), Mauro Felicori, Minister of Culture for the Emilia-Romagna region and Glanpiero Calzolari, Director of the BCBF.
The event was an embodiment of the close relationship between Sharjah and Bologna, and was held at the venue where the first edition of BCBF was held 59 years ago. Each guest table displayed the name of one of Sharjah’s towns or attractions, namely Al Hira, Al Thaid, Al Wosta, Al Sharqan, Khorfakkan, Al Qasba, Flag Island and Al Majaz, among others.