Bellagio Publishing Network  

 BPN Newsletter Issue No 31, November 2002 


African published books in the US

African Books Collective
African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HU, UK. +44 (0)1865 726686 (tel), +44 (0)1865 793298 (fax), email:;

African Books Collective (ABC) and Michigan State University Press (MSUP) have signed an agreement to enter into a partnership designed to raise the profile of African-published books and disseminate them more widely. The agreement was signed at a special ceremony on 4 July 2002 during the Arusha IV Seminar in Zanzibar on ‘Strengthening Scholarly Publishing in Africa’ co-organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and ABC.

Walter Bgoya, Director of the Seminar and Chairman of ABC, commended the agreement as a very important step forward for both parties, opening up new opportunities for African books, which had been disadvantaged in the North American market due to the lack of a US marketing and distribution point. He and other colleagues from the ABC Council of Management welcomed the opportunity for the agreement to be signed in conjunction with the seminar, and in the presence of some of ABC's key partners.

From 1 January 2003, ABC books will be exclusively marketed and distributed in North America by MSUP.

ABC is the non-profit, Oxford-based, worldwide marketing and distribution outlet for over 1,000 titles from Africa – scholarly, literature and children's books. Founded, owned and governed by a group of African publishers, ABC’s mission is to strengthen indigenous African publishing through collective action and to increase the visibility and accessibility of the wealth of African scholarship and culture.

MSUP has a university press mission. The scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University, it helps to carry out the institution's land-grant mission through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry that makes significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. MSUP markets and distributes a growing number of distinguished foreign and domestic publishers.

ABC and MSUP will work together to increase the visibility and sales of books representing the best cultural product from Africa - the wealth of its scholarship, fine literary writing, and children's books emanating from within the African culture. Such books have been disadvantaged by not having a North American distributor; and MSUP will become the first US stockist of a critical mass of African-published books.

The partnership will be launched at the (US) African Studies Association in Washington in December 2002.

For further details:
African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HU, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1865 726686 Fax: +44 (0)1865 793298

Michigan State University Press,1405 South Harrison Road, 25 Manly Miles Building, East Lansing, MI 48823-5202, USA.
Tel: +1 517 3359543
Fax: +1 517 4322611; +1 800 6782120
Email: [BPN no 31, 2002, p. 14.]

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