Bellagio Publishing Network  

 BPN Newsletter Issue No 21, December 1997 


African books promoted in Botswana

APNET display at the Commonwealth conference of education ministers

Tainie Mundondo

Tainie Mundondo is Membership/Trade Promotion Officer of APNET, the African Publishers Network. APNET, PO Box 3773, Harare, Zimbabwe. Fax +263 4 705106; e-mail:

The thirteenth Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers was held in Gaborone in July 1997 on the theme of Education and Technology in the Commonwealth. A parallel convention, which included a symposium and an exhibition, was attended by most Commonwealth members. The symposium covered a wide range of subjects, including technology, education and economic development; technology and education for all; from paper to paperless; libraries and librarians in an information age. Government ministries and commercial organisations were present, and all supported the theme of the convention by addressing the issues and exhibiting relevant materials and services.

The APNET stand was one of the few which exhibited the finished book. Most others had brochures about their institutions and activities, and the presence of books was much appreciated. APNET exhibited 152 books from 14 member countries, mostly on science and technology, although some visitors asked about cookery books and popular African writers' novels. Most visitors were surprised at the variety of books and the number of African countries publishing books.

APNET's participation was a step forward as most visitors to the stand had not previously heard about APNET, and we were able to distribute brochures about APNET's activities and information on the books in the exhibition. The exhibition exposed APNET to people who need to know about it, particularly government officials from member countries. The most useful part of the event was the visit to the APNET exhibition by the Commonwealth Ministers of Education.

The exhibition created contacts with people in its member countries and was also a helpful guide to the countries where APNET needs to market itself more. [end] [BPN, no 21, 1997, p 5.]

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