Muhtar Bakar
Publishing Perspectives reports on a recent panel discussion on the African publishing industry at this year’s African Literature Week (16 – 21 November) in Oslo, Norway.

[Muhtar] Bakare launched Kachifo [an independent literary publishing house in Lagos, Nigeria] in 2004, after a successful career in banking. The business started out publishing an online magazine, Farafina. In a paper he delivered in 2006 at the biennial conference of the African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK), Bakare commented on the decision to launch online: “It proved to be a useful strategy… Start-up costs were low and we had an immediate global reach. Which would prove useful later on, in commissioning new articles or titles, and in contracting out editorial work.”

Five years later, Bakare is still a confident believer in the power of the internet to revolutionize the African publishing industry. “The internet is our own Gutenberg moment,” he told the Oslo audience. “The internet is going to democratize knowledge in Africa.”

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(via @jranck)