2017 IBBY Africa Region Conference

About the Conference

The International Board on Books for Young People(IBBY) Africa Region Conference is the largest gathering of writers and publishers with a focus on writing and publishing books for children and young adults on the continent. It was held in South Africa in 2011 and 2013 and Rwanda in 2015.

The conference came at an opportune time when children and young adults under 15 years dominate the demographics of the continent constituting over 50%. However authors and publishers were yet to cash in on this huge market potential. This failure is attributed to several factors including a narrow range of titles in the different African languages available to the age group, a broken book value chain, high book prices inconsiderate of incomes in Africa and growing concerns about inability to read and write.

Uganda was pleased to host the 4th IBBY Africa Regional Conference from 22nd -24th August 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. This conference was proudly organized by International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Uganda Chapter, Uganda Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association (UCWIA), National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation (URRO), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Library Uganda.

Whilst the book publishing industry has been stagnating, information and communication technology, especially the mobile phone has taken Africa by storm. ICT innovations such as social media have sparked a revolution in communication, and transformed the way young Africans communicate and share information with one another. This is a very interesting development that is shaping authorship and publishing culture on the continent in significant ways. It also represents a unique challenge that calls for innovative thinking on business models and the emergence of new value chains for trade in content.


Rethinking Contemporary Literature for Children and Young Adults in Africa

Sub themes:

Persons presenting papers in the plenary or workshops or posters shall be encouraged to share from the perspective of their personal or national experiences as well as what changes may be required to better literature for children and young adults and its distribution across the continent. The following sub-themes shall be discussed:

  • Authorship, illustrations and publishing
  • Language and children’s literature
  • Oral traditions and children’s literature
  • Book trade in Africa and beyond
  • Intellectual property and business models
  • ICTs, publishing innovations and new value chains
  • Research on Literature for children and young people