Monday, July 07, 2008

International Publishers Association Congress on its way to Africa for the first time

Cape Town & Western Cape wins bid

THE International Publishers Association’s (IPA) Publishers Congress will for the first time ever be held in Africa in 2012. The announcement that Cape Town and the Western Cape in South Africa won the bid to host this prestigious congress, was made in the city on Friday, 13 June 2008 - on the eve of this year’s Cape Town Book Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, a business unit of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, the official tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, assisted the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) in securing the bid. The congress will be held at the CTICC from 11 to 14 June 2012.

Says Calvyn Gilfellan, Chief Executive of Cape Town Routes Unlimited: “Cape Town and the Western Cape is extremely proud to have beaten competitors such as India, Russia and Bosnia Herzegovina to secure the 29th IPA Publishers Congress. Not only will the congress bring 1 000 delegates and an estimated economic impact of R12.5 million to our destination, but it will also assist us in addressing seasonality - drawing more tourists to Cape Town and the Western Cape during its winter months and traditional low season. It just once again illustrates the power and potential business tourism (meetings, incentive travel, conferences and events) has to sustain tourism.”

In the 2006/2007 financial year, the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau and its tourism partners submitted 30 bids for conferences, congresses and events with a potential economic value of more than R590 million. To date 10 of these bids have been secured with an economic value of R240 million.

The IPA Congress flag was handed over to Cape Town, PASA, South Africa and Africa by IPA President Ana MarĂ­a Cabanellas at last month’s IPA Publishers Congress in Seoul, Korea. She says: “The 29th IPA Publishers Congress will be a unique opportunity to understand the South African publishing industry and the African book market as a whole.” *

Brian Wafawarowa, Chair of the African Publishers Network (APNET), concurs: “Every region that has won the bid to host the IPA congress has utilised the rare opportunity to emphasise the centrality of the book to national economic and social development. With the Cape Town Book Fair becoming the premier book fair in Africa, the hosting of the 2012 IPA congress by South Africa will have a positive impact on the book sector on the continent.”

IPA organises an international Publishers Congress or Copyright Symposium every two years alternately, in co-operation with one of its member associations. Previous IPA congresses were held in Seoul, Korea in 2008, in Berlin, Germany in 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2000 and in Barcelona, Spain in 1996.

“The success of the Cape Town bid is a success for Africa,” says Dudley Schroeder, Executive Director of PASA. ”It was a proud moment when the IPA Congress flag was handed to me to bring home to Cape Town. As this is the first IPA Publishers Congress to be held on African soil, the flag is a reminder of the great responsibility that has been entrusted to us.

“In 2012, the IPA Publishers Congress will be held back-to-back with the Cape Town Book Fair, which has already established itself as a rallying point for African publishers. Many delegates to the IPA Publishers Congress will attend both events and will also have an interest in exploring our beautiful city, province and country. The IPA Publishers Congress programme will focus on networks between publishers and creating two-way exchanges between the African continent and the rest of the world,” says Schroeder.

Dirk Elzinga, managing director of the CTICC, adds: “The IPA Congress has never been held in Africa before and Cape Town’s win sets a very important precedent. Publishers from more than 50 countries will be represented at this congress and the economic spin-off for Cape Town is huge. Together with the very popular Cape Town Book Fair at the CTICC, it will present significant opportunities for local business and tourism in the Western Cape.”

Media Enquiries: Riana Geldenhuys on cell: 082 460 5554 or email:


The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the global non-governmental organisation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing worldwide. Established in 1896, IPA's mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for cultural and political advancement worldwide. IPA currently has 65 member associations in 53 countries. *

* Information retrieved from on 12 June 2008

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