Livr’Afrique: Delivering Affordable Bibles and Christian books for French-speaking Africa

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Article By Eric Immer

Whether you are a student or a teacher in theology, a simple reader or a retailer, if you are looking for a Bible commentary, a Bible or a Christian book in Yaoundé, you will inevitably be directed to the Christian bookstore L’Eau Vive, which is Livr’Afrique’s relay point in Yaoundé.

Livr’Afrique is an association based in Valence, France, whose goal is to promote the distribution and sale of Christian books at low prices in Africa and in French-speaking countries. Created in 1996 with the help of the main French-speaking evangelical publishers, this ministry is a great support for local missions and churches. This is because Bibles, commentaries and study books are given priority.

L’Eau Vive: Livr’Afrique’s relay point in Yaoundé.

 

From publishers to booksellers

Livr’Afrique works from France leaving the local distributors the responsibility to make partnerships with local publishers. There are currently 13 distribution points in 10 of the main French-speaking African countries and Haiti: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Haiti, Madagascar, DRC, Chad and Togo. These distributors are visited, trained and supplied regularly. Local booksellers and retailers can easily obtain supplies and receive goods on site, according to their needs.

 

Meeting the challenges of the health crisis

Since the Covid-19 crisis, Livr’Afrique can no longer function with deposits as in the past. Buying books in large quantities from publishers has become difficult because digital printing has become commonplace, and the lack of cash flow affects us all. We have changed our practices and now work on a just-in-time basis with our partner publishers from whom we order according to our customers’ requests and then ship. The books are available via the website www.livrafrique.com and distributed through a network of ” relay point ” (former deposits). The rates of Livr’Afrique displayed on the website are “transport included” until the point relay. For the booksellers who are too far from the relay points we send to their post office box. The customers, according to their status have discounts on the public prices displayed.

The biggest challenge today is the cash flow. On the French side, Livr’Afrique has negotiated prices on annual volumes and orders according to the publisher’s needs. Many Western publishers are also in crisis due to the covid and the war in Ukraine which has caused purchase prices to increase significantly in recent months (up to 40% on paper). This is very detrimental to small publishers who are less and less represented by Livr’Afrique, because small orders cost more to purchase and deliver, which increases the selling price.

 

Livr’Afrique for a thriving Christian publishing industry in French-speaking Africa

The basic objective was to create local distributors capable of distributing the titles of Western and local publishers. The economic and financial difficulties as well as the very rapid evolution of the whole administrative and fiscal system of French-speaking Africa have added many difficulties. We note that more than 60% of the bookshops are not yet properly registered in the commercial registers and from a fiscal point of view, few bookstores have management tools that allow them to keep their stock and to make a profit and loss statement and a financial balance sheet. This is very detrimental in international trade and will soon become so for them at the local level. Ideally, Western and African publishers could be printed on demand in different countries, but they still need to find trustworthy people to whom they will agree to give the printing rights. Livr’Afrique facilitates the link between publishers and distributors in different countries.

 
Where to go

To get in touch with us at Livr’Afrique, booksellers and other clients can contact them by email, telephone or the website. As for publishers, there is a restriction. Since we respond to the demand of the distributors and booksellers we serve, if a title is never requested, there is little chance that it will be present on our website. We regret it because we would like to make it visible, but sometimes it’s not economically viable, but we generally respond to all requests.

Bibles on livrafrique.com

 

Our ministry is limited to the Francophonie. But there are missions and publishing houses that make great efforts to support publishers, booksellers and the dissemination of English literature. Connect to Africa Speaks and join the network!

 

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Eric Immer

Eric Immer is the Director of Livr’Afrique 

Safeguarding Truth: Content versus Form

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Article By Solomon Andria
 
Consumerism 

In a consumerist world like ours, producing a lot of products as fast as possible can easily become the norm. Publishers are no exception to this! The emphasis on the message is easily lost while all the attention goes on to marketing. 

Christian publishing houses must be different. We must produce works that are in alignment with the purposes of God, and that meet the exact needs of this century’s reader so that after reading a book, the reader is one step closer to knowing the Truth of God and God Himself. 

 

Challenges for publishers 

The first challenge is to resist trendy titles or themes just for the sake of attracting potential readers. We have been in the postmodern world for a few decades. It is a world that is less interested in deep reflection and more interested in trivialities. It encourages attachment to sensational phenomena. It promises immediate happiness without effort, prosperity, and visible success. This is easily evident in the material success of the proponents of prosperity theology in Africa. 

Secondly, publishers may be tempted to produce what the reader demands. They opt for writings whose content attracts and whose literary form seduces. This inevitably leads to doctrines that appeal, teachings that confuse and mislead.  

Another challenge is how to interest the younger generation in literature. The present generation is attracted by the visible and the audible more than by the readable. Images and colours replace the written word, and the tablet replaces the book! This impoverishes and even paralyzes intellectually. 

  

The responsibilities of publishers 

Faced with these challenges, responsibilities are required of publishers but also of editors. They must: 

  • To be attentive to the world in order to know the intellectual and cultural realities and the founded or unfounded concerns of the present generation. 
  • – To identify the trendy subjects and themes, such as prosperity, business success, marriage for all, promises of happiness, and such in order to challenge them. 
  • Identify sensationalism at the expense of the spiritual — some authors consider the sensational to be spiritual. 
  • Be familiar with current language, as each generation is marked by a specific language – language itself evolves in time and space.  
  • Be familiar with the history of the Church, especially the history of dogma. The major doctrinal controversies took place during the first five centuries of our era. Most theological debates were dealt with during this period.  
  • Differentiate between the essential and the secondary in Christian doctrine. The essentials of Christian doctrine are summarized by the three cardinal truths of the Reformation: by Scripture alone, by grace alone, by faith alone. These truths emphasize the full inspiration of Scripture and the interpretation of Scripture in the light of the Spirit. 
  • Consider the biblical triad in interpreting and understanding biblical data: Creation, Fall and Redemption. 
  • To verify the biblical basis of the ideas expressed in the text, since some authors invoke biblical verses to justify their own ideas, to justify themselves. 
  • Look for factual accuracy in the story, appropriate use of quotes or sayings… 
  • Consider the consistency between title and content, but also between content and form, knowing that literary form helps to understand the content or to hide a message! Form includes vocabulary, syntax, spelling and even punctuation! For example, the placement of a comma in a sentence is critical to the meaning of the message expressed. 
  • Develop a brotherly dialogue with the editor, and especially with the author, knowing that in the publication process, the author proposes his manuscript to the editor, and the editor submits the revised text to the publisher. 

In short, the Christian publisher must have a basic knowledge of Scripture and the culture in order to be able to spot intentional and unintentional subtleties in the text and false doctrines presented in an attractive literary style.  

The publisher’s role is to help the author communicate the great truths in an intelligible and enjoyable way. In the whole process, the publisher’s role is decisive, because he is at the end of the chain. This is how publishing houses in Africa help the Church to witness until the return of Jesus Christ. 

 

 

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Solomon Andria

Solomon Andria was professor of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Evangelical Theology of the Christian Alliance in Abidjan for 20 years, and the coordinator of LivresHippo in the Langham Partnership Literature Department in Francophone Africa. He is the author of several books including Église et mission à l’époque contemporaine (CLE, 2007), Initiatives théologiques en Afrique (LivresHippo, 2016). He chaired the board of the Africa Bible Commentary and has overseen the French and Malagasy translations. He has made a major contribution to the African Biblical Commentary, serving as one of the theological editors of the New Testament and overseeing the production of the French edition, the Commentaire Biblique Contemporain.

Planting Alfirin Seeds

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Article By Gathuku Kibunga
Alfirin Seeds

One of the movie series I watched with Maggie and the children during the Christmas break was Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power based on the novel The Lord of the Rings and its appendices by J. R. R. Tolkien. When faced with an imminent gloom of darkness and annihilation in the battle for Southlands, both (Arondir)the hero and (Adar) the villain, plant the alfirin seeds in the ground – in the hope of something new growing after the war passes. In the Elvish tradition, this represents the undying hope of life after the darkest darkness. They both recite the declaration while holding the seeds… ‘life in defiance of death’!

2020-2022 felt like a scene from the Lord of the Rings with one battle raging one after another: Covid-19, Tigray war in Ethiopia, terrorist attacks in northern Nigeria, military coups in Burkina Faso, unrest in Mali and not to mention the war in Ukraine. For many Africans living in these nations must have felt the despair.

A scene from the movie Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. SOURCE: GQ Magazine

 

2023 

And there’s still so much to fear in 2023  

Africa is holding a whopping six presidential elections in some of its politically volatile nations. What will this mean for the life and peace of these nations? What about their economies and the ripple effect on cross-border trade? The recent outbreak of Covid in China in December 2022 now threatens to raise its head again. How will Africa survive it this time? Will the Ukrainian war that has extended longer than anyone would have imagined – triggering a devastating ripple effect on the economies of Africa – become worse in 2023?  
 
Christian publishing professionals are experiencing an equally difficult season as they serve. 
In late November, I visited Harriet, the proprietor of Beulah Christian Bookshop in Accra. She had to check with her banker for the dollar rate before we could finalize a purchase at her bookshop! The Cedi was getting so unstable that traders had to regularly check the daily rate. At one point, it had hit a high of 15 cedis to 1 USD. She was counting losses, yet she and her husband continued to keep their bookshops open! How will Ghana handle the restructuring of its foreign debt? How will other nations countries like Kenya handle the dicey issue? What will it mean for publishing?   
 
Just a few months ago, Ivanova Fotso’s editorial work was frequently interrupted by unstable electricity supply in Yaoundé. Young Cameroonians who had items such as LPG gas, cooking oil and their National Identity cards would proudly post their photos online to express their privileged standing for being in possession of such basic items. Will 2023 turn out better?   
 
As we speak, there’s an ongoing political conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near Goma where our brother Jean Pasteur, of CBCA is based. Will DRC Congo war with the M23 rebels extend into 2023? How will that affect CBCA’s plan to set up a printing press in Goma?  
 
Burkina Faso went through a military coup where our sister Dr. Joanna Ilboudo is leading a publishing house. In addition to the political instability, her husband passed on. We mourn with her! That sounds like a really hard year for her ministry and family. 

 

But Even Then…

Who’d have thought that the continent that was feared to be outrun by Islam in 1910 would emerge the most Christian by 2018? Who’d have thought that Rwanda would rise from its devastating genocide and be published by TIME magazine among 50 extraordinary tourist destinations in the 2022 world’s greatest places to visit? Who’d have imagined that Egypt would be building a new city from scratch barely a decade after the Arab Spring? Who’d have thought that Morocco would become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals at the FIFA World Cup? Who knows what God will do in 2023 to turn around the grim picture that overwhelms our vision for a flourishing Christian Publishing in Africa? If you’re like me, you often forget to factor in the unseen sovereign hand of God in shaping His world according to His purposes. We get surprised by unexpected events that completely turn around the scene.

Because we believe our God is sovereign and has resources and power beyond our imagination, we respond in faith and not by sight. We commit to fervently PRAY but at the same time continue to PUBLISH by faith in and through the dark seasons!

As Christian Publishers and Booksellers, we carry that divine trust as beacons of hope and life in our nations. We pray earnestly and fervently that God’s gospel of salvation with an eternal hope be proclaimed and published, even when all political and economic realities show the opposite. We continue to publish in times of political unrest and economic hardship because we have faith in the potency of the words we write.
May you plant ‘alfirin seeds’ where only darkness is visible to your human vision. May you carry that nagging hope that refuses to resign to all the pessimistic media predictions of darkness, gloom and even death in your country, because in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Join Africa Speaks as we plant “alfirin seeds” in Christian publishing, connecting professionals around the world to establish a viable and thriving Christian publishing industry in Africa and become a thriving professional network.

 

 

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Gathuku Kibunga

Gathuku Kibunga is the current Executive Secretary of Africa Speaks.

Celebrating Pieter Kwant’s work for Christian literature

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Article By Africa Speaks

Africa Speaks member, Pieter Kwant, has announced his retirement from Langham Partnership effective the end of this calendar year. African Christian leaders are grateful to Pieter for the role he has played in the Africa Bible Commentary and the work of Langham Literature, making evangelical books available to theological institutions throughout the continent.

In a recent YouTube, Pieter spoke of the role of Ecclesiastes 11 in his life of faith, trusting God to care for the results of longer-term projects as he remains faithful in his role as a publisher and distributor.

Pieter Kwant chatting with the Africa Speaks Executive Secretary, Gathuku Kibunga


Pieter Kwant has an appreciation for many aspects of culture, not least art, music, and film, but he has dedicated his life to books in the service of the Lord. Originally from the Netherlands, Pieter wistfully tells of his first encounter with theological books in a bookshop in South Africa where he was rooted to the spot after pulling a book off the shelf and devouring its contents. The bookshop owner no doubt looked on hoping he was going to pay for it after reading it all! Pieter did go on to buy that book along with many more and is still buying them.

It was also in South Africa that Pieter met his wife, Elria, and where he started his first job in the Christian book business. He went on to manage and own a bookshop and came up with many imaginative ways of getting his books in front of potential customers, especially students. But God eventually led Pieter back to Europe, this time to the UK where he and Elria raised their four sons. Pieter first worked for IVP, then for Paternoster where he led the way in publishing theological and biblical monographs, before eventually setting up his own publishing house and book agency, Piquant.

Eventually, Pieter was called to Langham Partnership to be the director of its literature program, focusing on resourcing institutions in the Majority World with evangelical theological books for libraries and students, developing and training writers and publishers, and pioneering partnerships to produce exceptional book projects such as the Africa Bible Commentary.

The need for resourcing colleges and seminaries with contextually relevant books led Pieter to launch a long-term publishing initiative. Langham Creative Projects was formed and has published over 160 titles.

Pieter plans to continue the work of Piquant Editions and Piquant Agency and looks forward to visiting his children in New Zealand whom he hasn’t seen for several years.

Pieter Kwant authored Inside the Rainbow: Seeing and Doing the Book of Revelation (Vol 1) which focuses particularly on Revelation 1–3, and Inside the Rainbow 2: Throne and Seals, which focuses particularly on Revelation 4–8:1.


Africa Speaks joins Langham Partnership in thanking God for Pieter Kwant incredible service to the world of Christian literature over the decades and praying for God’s rich blessings on his life going forward.

 

Content has been edited from the Langham Partnership Staff Profile, January 2018 ©2022 Langham Partnership

 

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa.

Meeting the Publishing Challenges in Yaoundé

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Article By Africa Speaks

 

CLEF Ministries

In January 2023, the third batch of the Editing Course will begin at the CLEF Professional Training Center, Yaoundé, Cameroon, in collaboration with Africa Book Development Foundation (ABDF) and its training department, the African Book Institute.

The Editing Course is one of many activities carried out by CLEF Ministries (Christian Literature and Education Foundation), an action-oriented, non-governmental, non-profit organization that seeks to initiate projects and facilitate interfaith exchanges and cooperation between Christians and churches in Cameroon.

CLEF Ministries aims to promote understanding and cooperation among Christians of all denominations by undertaking development projects for the common good, and to promote Christian literature through the production and distribution of Christian literature and other support materials.

 

The beginning of the CLEF Ministries

“The idea to start a ministry came from my wife and myself, in order to evangelize through her music and my activities in distributing and publishing of Christian literature,” said Mr. Buma Kor Dickson, founder and executive secretary of CLEF Ministries. Mrs. Buma-Kor Claudia, known by her artist’s name, Aunty CLO, is a gospel singer who has to date 7 albums of Christian music to her credit, most of which can be found on YouTube.

Mr. Buma Kor Dickson is a Publisher and Book Development Consultant in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He conducts writing and publishing training workshops and lectures at the Advanced School of Mass Communication of the University of Yaoundé I, the University of Buea, and the Cameroon Christian University in Bali, Bamenda, North-West Region of Cameroon. Previously, he was the Operations Manager for Oxford University Press, UK, in Cameroon, and was in charge of publishing training programmes at the UNESCO Centre for Book Promotion in Africa (CREPLA).

Mr. Buma Kor is also a trainer with Media Associates International (MAI) and formerly APNET, the African Publishers Network. With the support and encouragement of MAI, CLEF Ministries organized the first seminar of Christian writers in Cameroon in March 2020 at the Presbyterian Church Hall (PCC) of Bastos in Yaoundé, followed by an online conference in 2021. Following these seminars, a forum of Christian writers from Cameroon was created, and the first joint project accomplished was the writing of a collection of articles on “What God has taught us through the COVID-19 health crisis”.

Mr. Buma Kor and his wife, Mrs. Buma-Kor Claudia
 
CLEF Ministries in book publishing and distribution

One of the mandates of CLEF Ministries is to publish, produce and distribute Christian literature and other materials for education and general reading. Books produced and published by CLEF include:

The Family Prayer by Rev. Dr. Michael Bame Bame (1982) – A reflection on the Lord’s Prayer and what each phrase means to encourage us pattern our own prayers accordingly.
In Defense of the Cross by Buma Kor (Elder) – collection of sermons encouraging Christian growth and understanding of the Gospels of Jesus Christ.
Revival Palava by Buma Kor (Elder) – A narrative on the revivals that took place in Cameroon during the 1970s and 1980s, one by Dr. Zacharia Fomum and the other by Rev. Dr. Bame Bame.

CLEF flagship publication has been Morning Glory – a non-denominational daily meditation for Christian living, edited by Mr. Buma Kor and written by various pastors and Christians; published also in French and distributed through various churches in Cameroon.

“For some time now, cost of printing regularly forced us to stop printing the hard copy,” says Mr. Buma Kor. “Now in its seventeenth year, it’s being published online through Facebook and WhatsApp by free subscription.”

Prior to Morning Glory, CLEF had also published and distributed in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, as well as in Douala, Bafoussam and Yaoundé, the weekly Christian Times newspaper, which stopped at the 10th issue, for financial reasons. However, it is hoped to be relaunched in the years ahead, for its existence is still relevant.

As for the distribution of CLEF books, it is done through existing bookstores, secular and Christian, throughout the country, by obtaining the books at the distributor’s price and selling them at wholesale to bookstores, especially Bibles and other books of Christian literature from foreign publishers. In some cases, notably for Christian Times and Morning Glory, they were distributed through churches, before church services began and immediately after the service.

 

CLEF strategies to meet the challenges of Christian publishing in Cameroon

The challenges faced by Christian publishers are numerous, as Mr. Buma Kor notes in these words: “I must say that there are challenges in publishing at all levels of the process – from creation, printing to the marketing of books. How publishers in Cameroon, talk less of Africa, manage to survive in a hostile situation and continue to get on is evidence of passion, dedication and the love for the profession. It’s not the money but, especially for Christian literature, the passion.”


One of the challenges is that of authorship. It is difficult to obtain good manuscripts and find good editors that could help authors produce publishable material. “In my own case, I often did the editing myself after acquiring what, I may say, is a good manuscript,” says M. Buma Kor. The training of writers and editors is still a far cry in Cameroon. For this reason, the CLEF Professional Training Center has been organizing training workshops for editors for several years to reduce the manpower deficit in the publishing industry. This September 2022, the combined two batches wrote the National Qualifying exams supervised by the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training. The third batch is on their way to begin their studies in January 2023. Next year also, translation and conference interpretation at GCE A levels/BAC and first-degree levels will be introduced.


To provide a more global solution to the problems encountered by publishers, Mr. Buma Kor advocates for the putting in place by governments in respective African countries, National Book and Reading Policies (NBRP) and National Book Development Councils (NBDC) as instruments for the propagation, training and development of personnel of the African book industry. “UNESCO has been concerned that these measures be put in place since the 1960s to the 1980s and now, it is the African Union and ADEA (the Association for the Development of Education in Africa) and partners that is coming up with the AU Continental Framework for National Book and Reading Policies in Africa. We hope this sees the light soon,” says Mr. Buma Kor.

 

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa. 

The KWFN Seal of Publishing Quality

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Article By Africa Speaks
 
The Start

It all started with a blog, PaulieMugo.com, which received a nomination in the category: “Religion and Spirituality” at the BAKE Awards in Kenya. While attending the bloggers’ award ceremony in May 2018, Ms. Paulie Mugure Mugo, Christian Writer & Entrepreneur, was inspired to start a Christian writer’s network.
“Though I appreciated the recognition,” Paulie says. “I felt that Christian writing was significantly broad and warranted much wider effort and attention. So, I contacted Ms. Jane Harel, whom I knew to be working on a book, and shared with her the idea of starting a community of Christian writers. Jane in turn contacted Ms. Rose Kainda on the same. Within a few weeks we had reached out to a number of other Christian writers and agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the way forward.”
The first meeting was held in June 2018, and by the next month, at least twenty Christian authors had committed to joining the community, with the three initiators serving as chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary respectively. The Kenyan Faith Writers Network has since grown to more than fifty members and look forward to continued growth.

 
Annual Joint Book Launch

One of the KFWN’s core mandates is to enable their writers to reach as wide an audience as possible. In this regard, one of their key activities is the organization of an annual book launch, during which members publicize the books they have been working on in the course of the year. This enables each of them to launch and market their publications, together with other writers, at an affordable cost.
The first of these events was held in November 2018, and they have since held a similar event every year. The event brings Christian writers, bloggers, publishers and other practitioners together for a time of vibrant networking and celebration.
“Through this, we hope to draw wide attention to our authors, books and partners via print, broadcast and online media,” says Ms. Paulie Mugo.
The Annual Joint Book Launch provides the following benefits to the members:

  • Members are able to interact and share the journey of authoring new books together in the course of the year
  • Members are able to launch these books at a joint ceremony, thus sharing the attendant costs and efforts
  • Members are able to access a wider audience for their books, as each author brings their networks to the event, who then interact with all the publications, both on the day of the launch and thereafter.

 

 

Since inception in 2018, KFWN has held a joint book launch each year, and to date has brought close to fifty new Christian titles to market.
The books launched at this event are selected and published following a specific process.
In early January of each year, KFWN issues a call to members, asking those who intend to publish one or more books during the year to register their project. At this point, they are asked to send in at least one working title of the book. Authors then continue to work on their books for the next six months, and are asked to send a first draft, in electronic form, to the editorial team by June 30. Books received by this date are then checked by the editorial team to ensure that each book meets KFWN standards and requirements. Any comments/corrections are sent to the author by July 31. The authors then incorporate the comments/corrections and proceed to print a first draft. This draft must be returned to the editorial team by September 30. A second and final quality check is performed, and authors receive feedback in a week or two. The authors then print their books, which can now carry the KFWN seal, and are launched together in November.
In addition to the Annual Joint Book Launch, the KFWN also organizes public book reading events during which they promote books that have been recently published by their authors to a live listening audience. Another of their key initiatives is the training of authors on an ongoing basis, and Let’s Shine! Magazine, one of Kenya’s first online Christian publications.

 
Quality Stamp and Significant Accolades

The KFWN seal signifies that a book has been reviewed and approved by the KFWN editorial team and certifies that: the author is a member of KFWN; the content is based on Scripture and is biblically sound; the writing, formatting, design and printing of the book meet KFWN and other quality standards.

 

Several publications that have been authored by KFWN members, and have undergone the above process, have gone on to fare very well. Two of these publications have attracted significant accolades: When Tears Almost Tear by Eva Mumbi who has been featured in several broadcast media, as a consequence of the testimony she has shared in her book; and Managing Your Finances God’s Way by Gladys Juma. This book won an ACABA award in the Business/Finance category in 2021.

 

 

The 2020 and 2021 events were held virtually due to the Covid pandemic. This year 2022 will mark the return of the in-person event, which will include both a joint book launch for KFWN authors and a book fair open to all Christian authors, including non-KFWN members. It will take place on December 3 in Nairobi under the theme “Writing to Transform”. Please contact KFWN at kenyafaithwriters@gmail.com for more information

Join us in prayer for the Kenyan Faith Writers Network as they strive to positively impact society through the gift of writing, for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

 

 

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa.

MTI’s Introduction to Magazine Publishing Course

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Article By Africa Speaks

After the last conference in Abidjan in 2019, Magazine Training International continues the MTI in Africa program with the Introduction to Magazine Publishing Course in Accra, Ghana, November 13-18, 2022. The Magazine Publishing Course is designed for Christians on staff with a magazine or who consistently freelance, specifically Christian editors, designers, and publishers. It’s a unique opportunity to learn the essential steps for successful magazine publishing from highly respected Christian publishing professionals. Read the course and session descriptions.

The Introduction to Magazine Publishing Course will cover the three main areas of magazine publishing: magazine editing, management, and design. An international team of six trainers will teach the course. The benefits are many. By bringing in your staff, you allow everyone to learn the skills necessary to work well as a publisher, editor, or designer. As a team, you will learn how to work together to create an effective publishing plan in order to produce an influential magazine.

It’s also an opportunity to meet or reconnect with Christian publishing professionals from around the world and learn in a supportive, friendly environment. You will share victories and fears and learn from one another. Christians working in magazine publishing scattered throughout Africa often feel isolated and may become discouraged. A conference like this offers encouragement and renewal. The course will be offered in English with simultaneous interpretation into French.

Editing, design, and management—skills in all these areas are essential to the success of your magazine. In the Introduction to Magazine Publishing course, you will learn how each discipline influences and collaborates with others. And you’ll gain the tools you need to successfully launch a magazine or update your process for more effective and influential publication. All participants will also receive a 212-page book with 24 chapters full of ideas for practical application.

Following this course is a one-day Hands-on Workshop. This will be a limited enrollment one-day hands-on workshop for participants in the Introduction to Magazine Publishing Course who are planning to start or re-start a magazine. Trainers from the Introduction to Magazine Publishing Course will speak about practical steps in starting a magazine and then will work with participants as they begin to make specific plans for starting or re-starting their magazines.

Enrollment is limited to 10 proposed or existing magazines with up to three staff or volunteers each. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants must have taken part in the Introduction to Magazine Publishing course preceding the workshop.

The course will be held at the Presbyterian Women’s Centre in Accra, Ghana, from 13 to 18 November. Click herefor the full schedule.


Please pray for all the participants, as well as our brothers Gathuku Kibunga and James Mbugua who will attend the conference and share the mission of Africa Speaks.

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa.

THE SAN 2022 SUMMIT – SEND AFRICA NETWORK

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Article By Africa Speaks

Today, there are more Christians in Africa than on any other continent. By 2050, there will still be more followers of Christ in Africa than on the next two continents combined.

If these numbers translate into a significant mission force to complete the Great Commission in this century, then mobilizing African mission would require urgent and effective transformation. Transformation implies a renewed vision and imagination, the reformation and retooling of the entire process of mobilizing mission itself, and the end product to profoundly change the church and the world. This means rethinking our theology and practice of mission for the global, transnational, and multinational communities of the 21st century.

The impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war on mission and mission mobilization in and from Africa calls for deeper mission reflection. How can the African mission differentiate itself by taking the lead? What is our creative and innovative edge that can help address the challenges facing African and global missions? What quality of mission will African Christianity leave to the world in 2030 and 2050? What skills, capacities and training do African mobilizers need? What should our mobilization priorities be in the next 10 years? What do we need to do now to be the most effective, innovative and productive mobilizing force?

SEND AFRICA NETWORK (SAN) believes that God has raised His church in Africa and among people of African descent to be a blessing to all the nations of the world in line with the promise of God to Abraham (Genesis 12). Africa has enriched the nations of the world through coercion, force, exploitation, migration etc. Through it all, Africa has become the recipient of God’s grace and the bearers of His grace to the nations of the world. It is in this context that SEND AFRICA is organizing the SAN 2022 Summit.

The SAN 2022 Summit is about going deep and thinking long-term, dealing with the hard questions, and seeking transformation of mission mobilization in the wisdom, power, and enablement of the Holy Spirit.

It will be held November 2-3, 2022, in Accra, Ghana. Participants should plan to arrive on November 1 and depart on November 4.

Summit Fees are as follows:

  1. International Participants $ 250 (2 sharing room. Includes airport pickup and drop off)
  2. Ghana Residential GHC 2,000 (2 sharing room)
  3. Non-Residential GHC 1,000
  4. Limited single room occupancy $350

Kindly register via the link below.
https://forms.gle/ZTHbqwwR9d5rsSWN9

For more details visit www.sendafricanetwork.org or write to info@sendafricanetwork.org or WhatsApp +256756155527

Pray for Africa Speaks’ Executive Secretary Gathuku Kibunga, as he will be speaking at the SEND AFRICA SUMMIT 2022 on the state of Christian Publishing in Africa.

 

 

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa.

HOW CAN CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING BRING HOPE TO AFRICANS IN THE DIASPORA?

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Article By Rev. Pastor Agbèdè Afolabi Ghislain

 

God’s mission to people on the move

Migration is one of the great global realities of our time. People are on the move like never before. An estimated 200 million people live outside their home countries, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The term “diaspora” is used here to refer to people who have left their country of birth for whatever reason. This diaspora impacts the host country in one way or another; as such, it is on a mission. In this regard, the Global Diaspora Network of Lausanne met from August 23-27, 2022, for the Diaspora Mission Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, to discuss contemporary Christian mission by and through African diaspora communities around the world. The theme of the conference was: Africans in Diaspora and Diasporas in Africa.

The Global Diaspora Network is a catalytic movement that motivates and mobilizes followers of Christ to fully participate in God’s mission to, through, and beyond the diaspora peoples. It operates under the Lausanne Movement and embraces its philosophy of ministry: “Together we seek to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teachings, in every part of the world—not only geographically, but in every sphere of society and in the realm of ideas”.

The challenges of the Diaspora Africans in Africa and elsewhere were presented from several angles during the consultation. The principal question was ‘How Christian Publishing can help to bring hope to the Diaspora Africans?’ To highlight the role of Christian publishing among Africans in the diaspora, it is important to begin by noting the problems they face.

 

A high-risk integration

The picture and the description of Diaspora issues is bleak. In fact, Africans in the Diaspora are often accused of being responsible for all the wrongs that happened in the various places they immigrated to. They face segregation, rejection, xenophobia, and many difficulties while integrating into the new societies. Therefore, the literature ministry must act as a voice (Proverbs 31.8-9) and speak for the Diaspora Africans and raise awareness about their challenges, difficulties and conditions of life. Christian Publishing must facilitate the Africans in Diaspora within Africa and outside Africa to be more connected, united and able to defend their rights, and give them a voice to respond to some of the unique challenges that they face.

 
Christian publishing as a means to restore hope

Christian Publishing must have the role of educating, informing, and, teaching the diaspora in their various categories (refugee, asylum seeker, migrant) to seek the good of the host country (Jeremiah 29.7). Christian publishing is called to be a tool of hope, a call for mercy, counselling, restoration, transformation, bringing healing from various trauma. The policies of immigration need to be made known by all diaspora to avoid discrimination, injustice and fake laws coming from immigrations officers. In the same line, literature ministry will be a tool to encourage, and motivate social workers to assist the various categories of migrants.

Christian publishing is called to focus on the different African diasporas abroad and in Africa with the specific issues and challenges of each area. Another aspect to consider is the dynamics of reverse migration; the returning diaspora and the challenges of readjustment in the country of origin. Theological institutions need to be deeply involved in issues related to African diasporas within and outside of Africa. We must find a way forward for new horizons in theological education in Africa.

 
Diasporas in Africa: Hospitality as a Platform for African Urban Migratory Theology.

The paper I presented focused on: “Diasporas in Africa: Hospitality as a Platform for African Urban Migratory Theology.” As I said in my presentation, the African DNA, which is characterized by hospitality, needs to be at the heart of moving forward with conversation, dialogue, and practical steps to find the best way to view and welcome the African diaspora in Africa. Therefore, it is up to Christian publishing to bring this reality to light. In doing so, Christian literature will become a tool for peace and the protection of human dignity, as will the theology of migration that I develop below.

The South African philosophical concept of “Ubuntu” (I am because you are), shows the link between humans and the need to give space to the diaspora in Africa; it is therefore necessary to highlight this concept in the ministry of publishing. It is also the responsibility of Christian publishing to invite the media to play their role in informing, producing documentaries on the problems of migrants in various geographical locations in Africa and the world.

An appeal must be made to the Church regarding its duty in the face of the issue of African diasporas. Likewise, the various states of Africa must be involved in the actions of the Christian publishing sector. Ultimately, churches, states, and the African Union must take responsibility for protecting African diasporas in several ways. It is good to know that Global Diaspora Network will publish all the conversations that took place in Cape Town in 2023. 

 

 

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Rev. Pastor Agbèdè Afolabi Ghislain

Rev. Pastor Agbèdè Afolabi Ghislain is an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Holistic Development at the University Institute of International Development.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Burkina Faso

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Article By Africa Speaks

Last Friday, September 30, Burkina Faso experienced another coup, only 8 months after the previous one. In a statement read on national television, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the country’s new strongman, announced the dismissal of Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the dissolution of the government and the suspension of the constitution, as well as the closure of the country’s borders until further notice, and a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

 

Friday was a very tense day in the capital of Burkina Faso, with gunfire heard around the presidency and the junta’s headquarters. Several roads in the city were blocked all day by soldiers posted at the main crossroads of the city, including in front of the headquarters of the national television. Dr. Joanna Ilboudo, founder of ACTS-Burkina and Editions CONTACT, expressed concern for the fate of the population in the likely acts of resistance. “We thought it was over, but with these new statements and the heavy gunfire we are hearing, we really need your prayers,” she said.

This coup is taking place in an already troubling context. Jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has increased rapidly in recent years. The terrorists, who have destroyed much infrastructure, now control nearly two-thirds of the country. Burkina is located in a region where Islamic extremist groups have great influence. Christians in the north and east of the country face the most pressure and violence, especially outside the major cities. Attacks and kidnappings have been common lately.

Let us join our brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso in praying to the Lord to intervene and grant a political solution and peace in Burkina Faso.

 

 

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Africa Speaks

We are an international network of professionals committed to a flourishing Christian publishing industry in Africa.