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Chief Victor Nwankwo (1944-2002)

It is with deep sadness, shock and anger that we have to announce the death of Chief Victor Nwankwo, distinguished publisher, author, founding member of the African Books Collective, founder member and first chairperson of the African Publishers Network, and close associate of the Bellagio Publishing Network.

Chief Nwankwo was shot dead by as-yet-unknown assailants on Thursday 29 August 2002 in his home town of Enugu, Nigeria. The evidence points to a planned assassination rather than random lawlessness. Robbery was not the motive.

Chief Nwankwo, born in 1944, was one of the most significant figures in the development of post-independence indigenous African publishing, both through Fourth Dimension Publishers, his own thriving publishing house in Enugu, and through his unswerving commitment to the ideals of a strong pan-African publishing industry, able to compete on the world stage. He had a prodigious appetite for work, linked to an almost old-fashioned sense of public duty. A quiet and methodical man, whose background in civil engineering was often evident in the systematic way he worked, he was also forceful and passionate about his ideals. He was the consummate professional and at the cutting edge of publishing. At the time of his death he was spearheading the use of new technologies in the industry, typically not just for his own company's ends, but for the African publishing industry as a whole.

Those of us lucky enough to have worked closely with Victor depended on his good sense, his reliability and determination, his warmth and his wisdom. His death is a huge loss to the international publishing community, and a tragic setback for the African publishing industry.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family.

A full obituary appears in Newsletter 31.

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Source: BPN 09/09/02

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