KIPPRA Showcases Research Outputs and Capacity Building Programmes at Nairobi Book Fair
KIPPRA got a chance to interact with book lovers, scholars and students as well as showcase its latest research outputs and capacity building programmes at the 21st edition of the Nairobi International Book Fair at Sarit Centre, Nairobi.
The theme for this year’s book fair was “Books for Nurturing Skills.” The fair, which was held on 25th to 30th September 2018, brought together the entire knowledge fraternity that constituted book sellers, publishers, content developers among others. Books are probably the single most important item that contributes to an individual’s personal growth and advancement. Reading not only has tremendous power when it comes to fueling the development of all aspects of language ability, it’s importance to the entirety of a human life today cannot be overestimated.
Activity at the KIPPRA’s stand at the 21st Nairobi International Book Fair
Former Prime Minister, Hon. Raila Odinga, who was the chief guest during the opening ceremony, expressed his passion for reading and urged students and all Kenyans to embrace the reading culture. Noting that Kenya’s publishing industry was the largest in the continent, Hon. Odinga added that the country had made remarkable strides in cultivating freedom of expression and transfer of knowledge through books. He gave examples of times in the past when manuscripts were confiscated and banned from publication, saying the growth of the publishing industry in Kenya was a sign of the growing democratic space. He said when the citizenry is informed, they can be entrusted with the day-to-day running of the government.
According to Mr Lawrence Njagi, the Kenya Publishers Association Chairman, the Nairobi International Book Fair has continued to grow and has this year attracted 55 local and 15 international exhibitors from China, Uganda, Korea, Senegal, UAE, Tanzania, South Africa, India, Pakistan, US and Nigeria. Mr Njagi acknowledged the close working relationship between Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development (KICD) and the Nairobi International Book Fair (NIBF) and urged the guest of honor to push for VAT zero-rating on books to enable the average Kenyan to afford them.
Former Prime Minister, Hon. Raila Odinga, gives his speech at the Opening Ceremony
This year, Makadara Community Library received a donation of books through the Kenya Publishers Association Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
Prof. Simon Gicharu, Chairman of Mount Kenya University, who officiated the closing ceremony, was pleased to see KIPPRA at the fair. Prof. Gicharu said he was very familiar with KIPPRA, as he was a friend to one of the Institute’s founders, the late Prof. Mwangi Kimenyi. KIPPRA staff took the opportunity to inform him of the Institute’s latest capacity building programme: KIPPRA Mentorship Programme for Universities (KMPUs).
Prof. Simon N. Gicharu, Chairman of Mount Kenya University, visiting the KIPPRA Stand
Most of the visitors at the KIPPRA stand commended the research work and were particularly pleased that they could get the publications for free, especially on the Institute’s website. The study on the status of healthcare under devolution, which had policy briefs for all counties, attracted a lot of attention, as each visitor wanted to know the health status of their county. The visitors asked KIPPRA to consider replicating the same for other research subjects such as education and agriculture.
Other research topics suggested and requests include:
- Mental health
- Pre-primary and tertiary education, with the aim of standardizing the education and curriculum at large
- Request to publish policy briefs for all the sectors in the “Big Four” agenda
- KIPPRA to make policy training public. Most of the visitors expressed the need to be trained
- Enquiries on availability of the proceedings of 2018 KIPPRA Annual Regional Conference
- KIPPRA to carry copies of government policies when disseminating as many of the citizens had limited access
- KIPPRA to disseminate to the grassroots to reach a wider audience
A total of 4,220 publications were disseminated to the public during the fair. KIPPRA’s participation at the at the book fair was paramount for dissemination of information to the public and for the general visibility of the Institute. The visitors found the display exemplary and the publications very informative.
By Winnie Nguyu, Jane Kenda and Ken Kiptanui