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Welcome to the online version of 
Publishing, Books & Reading in Sub-Saharan Africa:
A Critical Bibliography

Last updated: 20/10/2014

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Preface to the new edition
Help - Searching the online version
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Important announcement to all our current subscribers 

Due to the specialist nature of the database and, as a result, the still relatively small number of subscribers, it has become increasingly apparent that its continuation is no longer commercially sustainable. We are currently in discussions with a number of parties regarding the possible transfer of the database to an institution in Africa, subsequently to be made freely available as an open access/open source database. In addition to maintaining and further developing the database, there will also be a need for more sophisticated software and moving the database to a more dynamic digital platform. More details about the move will be announced shortly.

 In the meantime, and as from February 2015, the database has now become freely accessible without the need of a user ID and password, and without the need to register.

The last update to the database, including the addition of a substantial number of new records, took place in October 2014 (see below). However, there will be no further updates until a new hosting institution can be found.


About the online database – October 2014 updates and additions 

With the latest updates and additions posted in October 2014, the database has continued to grow and currently contains 3,062 records. Select blog postings, as well as video recordings and radio/TV broadcasts are now also included on a regular basis. Additionally, frequent updates are made to listings of organizations and African book professional associations, and agencies, networks, book charities, etc. supporting the book and information sector in Africa.

Theses and dissertations archived in institutional repositories are included provided full text (not merely abstracts) is accessible online.

Most of the new material listed continues to be in English, but there are also select citations of new literature in French on publishing and the book world in the francophone nations of Africa.

New and Addenda entries

Items marked NEW cover select new material published since January 2008, not included in the print edition. These supplementary records appear in the appropriate sections in alphabetical order by author, but it should be noted that entry numbers are not in sequence; new or addenda items commenced with entry 2,518-, i.e. a continuation of the consecutive numbering of items which ends with entry 2,517 in the print edition. Entries marked ADDENDA are for books, articles, reports, or Internet documents published up to the end of 2007, but which were not listed in the print edition as they did not previously come to our attention.

Other updates

In addition to including a wide range of entirely new entries, updates also include changes in URLs, email addresses, contact information for organizations and associations, etc., as well as corrections of any inaccuracies that have been brought to our attention. "Last updated" dates are shown in any section where information has changed or has been updated. To report any inaccuracies, corrections, dead links, changes in contact information for organizations or associations, or other updates, please email the publisher at

Limitations of the current database

The limitations of the current database and its software – which, among other restrictions, does not allow for automatic renumbering – are now unfortunately becoming more and more apparent. The present arrangement of constantly adding a substantial number of entirely new (numbered) records is getting increasingly unwieldy, quite apart from creating a rather cluttered interface. Additionally, for authors of records where there are already one or more ‘NEW’ insertions, further new records may now sort marginally out-of-order alphabetically here and there. It is hoped that when the hosting of the database will be transferred to an institution in Africa or elsewhere in 2015 (see also announcement above), it can be moved to a more sophisticated and more dynamic digital platform.

Cross-referencing policies

We continue to include more copious cross-referencing for the online version, although we should remind users of the database what we stated in the Introduction to the print edition (p.xx): namely that, as a general rule of thumb, most articles on particular topics or areas of the book trade, e.g. bookselling, publishing for children, publishing in African languages, copyright, marketing, scholarly publishing, etc. are classified under topic (but were indexed both by topic and by country or region in the print edition). For example, an article on scholarly/academic book publishing in Kenya will appear in the section ‘Scholarly publishing (General)’; a study on publishing for children in Ghana will appear under ‘Children’s book publishing’; or an examination of young people’s reading habits in South Africa will appear under ‘Reading culture and reading promotion’, rather than country headings. 

© Copyright Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2008-2014

First edition 1984, published as Publishing and Book Development in Africa: A Bibliography/
L'édition et le développement du livre en Afrique: une bibliographie
(Paris: UNESCO, "Studies on
Books and Reading", no. 15)

Second edition 1996, published as Publishing and Book Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An
Annotated Bibliography

Third edition 2008, published as Publishing, Books & Reading in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Zell, Hans M.
Publishing, books and reading in Sub-Saharan Africa: a critical bibliography. - New ed.
1. Publishers and publishing - Africa, Sub-Saharan - Bibliography
2. Book industries and trade - Africa, Sub-Saharan - Bibliography
I. Title II. Zell, Hans M. Publishing and book development in Sub-Saharan Africa
ISBN-13: 9780954102951

ISBN-13: 978-0-9541029-5-1
Published by Hans Zell Publishing (T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants)
Glais Bheinn Lochcarron Ross-shire IV54 8YB Scotland UK
Telephone: +44-(0)1520-722951
Email:  or 


[T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants]

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