African Books Collective @30

Publishing in Africa has been a challenging business. Lack of continent-wide transport, communication and marketing networks has meant that publishers have had limited reach, often being confined to their own country. Thirty years ago, the African Books Collective was formed to make books published by independent African publishers internationally available.

Amongst a great many books on their list I am grateful that some of mine are included ( As they pass the 30-year mark I take the chance to post my congratulations.

ABC is a partner of three Malawian publishing ventures in which I have been, to varying degrees, involved – the Kachere Series, Mzuni Press and Luviri Press. These have sought to play their part in generating a literature for Malawi, particularly to stimulate and support higher education, but also to contribute to international research and discussion. In reaching that wider audience the African Books Collective plays a key role.

It might seem rather an arcane pursuit at a time when finding a way through the coronavirus pandemic necessarily preoccupies us. Yet even this current crisis needs and provokes scholarly thinking and writing. This in turn requires publication and dissemination. So I make no apology for toasting the African Books Collective on its 30-year mark and wishing it well for the future. Long may it continue.

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