Pen Malawi, Bpam’s records in 2017


Pen Malawi President, Alfred Msadala, has said the year 2017 was a success in that they, among other things, managed to host the Pen International workshop.
Pen Malawi hosted the week-long training workshop in project management for African Pen centres involved in its civil society programme in Blantyre.
Msadala said hosting Pen International was no mean achievement as it showed that Pen Malawi was vibrant.
The Pen International workshop, according to Msadala, closed with a civil society programme at Namisu Women Reading Club in Lunzu, Blantyre, on December 8 2017.
“It was a special moment for delegates from different countries to visit one of the places Pen Malawi operates in by way of assisting with reading material and reading activities,” Msadala said.
He said the climax was when the director of the centre, a Mrs Kalaile, disclosed to the visitors that she spent two years in the Gambia, the time when the spouse, Justice James Kalaile, worked as a Supreme Court judge in the Gambia.
This excited Musa Sheriff, President of Pen Gambia, and it prompted him to lead in joining the women’s dance.
Pen International Deputy Executive Director, Romana Caccioli, said Pen International has grown and that it has been in existence for more years.
Caccioli said that, in three years’ time, Pen International would be celebrating its centenary.
Msadala also revealed that in June, Pen Malawi also sent its representative Wezi Msukwa-Panje, who is a projects assistant, to participate in the world-wide civil society training workshop in Oxford, England, the United Kingdom.
He said Msukwa- Panje was identified as a facilitator for training programmes in Pen International.
Msadala, who is also Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) President, said, apart from Pen Malawi getting the limelight, Bpam also had a share of success.
He said, with funding from Hivos through Cultural Fund Malawi, they hosted the Malawi Book Festival for the first time.
“Our focus was to draw the participation of stakeholders to the book chain. Authors, readers, publishers, booksellers and librarians were all involved,” he said.
Msadala said the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, through the Department of Special Needs Education, and the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development—through the Department of Arts—were part of the organisation.
Bpam also partnered National Library Service in the festival.
Msadala also said that, in November, in his capacity as Bpam President, he attended a high level conference on the ‘Publishing Industry in Africa and Its Role in Education and Economic Growth’ in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The meeting was convened by World Intellectual Property, a United Nations organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Msadala said the meeting drew participants from 45 African countries, with two distinct representatives from private and public sectors.

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