Book Authority (SBA) concluded yesterday the "Publishers Conference",
which was organized by the “Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry” on the
sidelines of the Sharjah International Book Fair. The second and final day of
the conference was attended by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the UAE
Publishers Association, Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Hugo
Setzer, Vice President of the International Publishers Association, and Dr.
Rashid Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of the Media Sector at the National Media
conference started with HH Hussein Al-Hammadi’s keynote, in which he said:
"The Ministry's strategy aims at creating a generation empowered with
reading tools and learning, which is not limited in one book, because learning
depends on a variety of educational sources. And in order to achieve this
equation, it has become imperative that publishers, wishing to cooperate with
the Ministry of Education, contribute to the achievement of its strategy and
educational agenda, through raising the level of their content to achieve our
Cognitive and Value Learning Standards, which will eventually contribute to the
final outcome of achieving the richness of knowledge and literary learning that
the Ministry aspires for”.
Hammadi confirmed his full support for local publishers in the educational
field, saying: “We reiterate that the opportunity exists for local publishing
houses to enter the world of digital educational production through producing
digital educational materials that support the curriculum, and which are
alternatives to the traditional curriculum, especially that future learning
will be based on independent self-learning that is not confined to walls or
buildings. We have a close partnership with local publishing houses, which
takes many forms and different paths that we always seek to document in order
to support local publishing houses with all the necessary ingredients for their
Hammadi called on the UAE publishers to become more distinguished, creative and
committed to the UAE values and culture, saying: “Publishing houses should
increase the quantity that they publish, and their publications should be
world-class, while taking into account UAE particularities and its national
identity. And they should attract good writers in the fields of science,
literature and the arts, so that their publications are at the required global
the same lines, Hugo Setzer, Vice President of the International Publishers Association,
said: “Our exposure to the UAE's publishing experiences through the Emirates
Publishers Association (EPA), provides us with a creative vision of the
professional and institutional standards of the UAE publishing sector, which is
keen to overcome all obstacles”.
Rashid Al Nuaimi noted: “This conference furthers UAE’s achievements in the
cultural sector, especially in the book industry, and in encouraging
publishers, authors and readers, and consolidating UAE’s position in the global
publishing market, which is witnessing new changes every day. This fact makes
us more eager to support Arab publishers and enable them to strengthen their
global presence in this vital sector”.
first discussion panel titled “Encouraging Competition in Educational
Publishing” was moderated by José Borghino, Secretary General of the
International Publishers Association. The following panelists took part in the
discussions; Wilmar Diepgrond, Chair, President of Educational Publishing at
the Educational Publishers Forum, Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director, Emirates
Publishers Association, Jaume Vicens, President of Educational Publishing at
the International Publishers Association.
Diepgrond, said: “There are many options offered by publishers who specialize in
educational publishing. They choose curricula that are in line with the
aspirations of Education Entities, and that achieve the teachers' ambition, and
support the student's knowledge system”.
Al Kous, Executive Director, Emirates Publishers Association, brought the focus
to the UAE context with the following comments: “the domestic publishing
industry is estimated at $ 233 million. Through Sharjah, the UAE has taken
remarkable steps in supporting the publishing sector by establishing Sharjah Publishing
City, a free zone that brings together publishers and works on building
alliances among them to support the publishing industry”.
Vicens, Vice Chair, EPF, said: “Supporting the educational publishers and
building confidence between them and governments is the most important step we
can take to support students' gain of science and knowledge, as it provides a
fertile environment for educational dissemination”.
second panel session, focused on publishing Arab Youth and Children’s Books,
and was moderated by, Andrew Sharp, group rights and digital director at
Hachette Children’s Books. The following panelists took part in the discussions;
Rose Joannes foreign rights manager at Colodest in Belgium, Mones Al Hattab,
from ABC Publishers in Jordan, Dr. Fadwa Elboustany, owner of Boustany’s
Publishing House, and Dr. Alyazia Khalifa, founder and owner of Al Fulk
Translation, UAE-based house.
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