Africa's "Gutenberg Moment?"

This post from Publishing Perspectives about publishing in Africa came in over the break, and it’s worth a look:

Five years later, [Muhtar] Bakare is still a confident believer in the power of the internet to revolutionize the African publishing industry. “The internet is our own Gutenberg moment,” he told the Oslo audience. “The internet is going to democratize knowledge in Africa.”

As the Web moves to becoming a primarily mobile media, it expands global access to knowledge and information (while obviating the historical geographic barriers around physical markets). Publishers taking a long view should be sure to pay attention to what’s happening in Africa and the Middle East. We’ll have speakers from both regions at next month’s TOC conference.

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  • bowerbird

    it’s simple. we can’t chop down enough trees to
    make enough paper to print enough textbooks
    to educate all of the children in the world, so
    digital textbooks is the only option we have…

    -bowerbird

  • Dan Eveland

    bowerbird, the global printing industry and the paper industry have vast amounts of unused capacity. All trees cut down for paper are re-planted. Most paper now comes form trees that were planted by man earlier. The issue with educating children all over the world has nothing to do with the ability to make physical books. The process of making printed books is amazingly efficient and scalable. The market is shriveling, so there is, in fact, a huge number of idle printing presses and paper mills running at a fraction of capacity.