Annual Report/AGM

Annual Report for the year 2006


It is a great privilege and pleasure for me to welcome you all to this Annual General Meeting and present you the audited Balance Sheet and Accounts for the year ending March 31, 2005. If I have your permission, I can take them as read. However, if there is any question I can answer it at the conclusion of my speech where I wish to concentrate on the Council`s activities and our proposed agenda.

As you all know, the Afro-Asian Book Council was established in February 1990 to bring the authors, publishers and all others involved in publishing in Asian and African countries at one forum. The Asian and African countries undoubtedly constitute a major part of the world intellectual community. I feel that the founding fathers of this Council had a significant vision to play for the Council while bringing the Afro-Asian Book Industry in forefront.

Among the people who played a major role in laying down the edifice of the Council to which we are destined to give further momentum are the Council`s first Director Shri Abul Hasan, the first Secretary General Late Shri Asanga Machwe and the present Secretary General of the Council Shri Sukumar Das who is poised to give new dimension to the Council`s activities.

Shri Abul Hasan is said to be the architect of the whole edifice. As Shri Sukumar Das explained in his Welcome Address during the seminar on Author-Publisher Relationship on August 31, 2005, the whole project was conceived by Shri Abul Hasan. Ever since Shri Abul Hasan showed his reluctance in October 2004 to continue due to his indisposition I have the privilege to take up the task as present Director of the Council. I seek the cooperation of all of you to take the task forward which has been left unfinished. The task, as I visualize it, is gigantic but it can be made easy, simple and surmountable once I have the co-operation, guidance and participation of all of you. But we still need the guidance of Shri Abul Hasan and we have requested him to continue in the Council as our Advisor. We are all happy that he has agreed to our request.

During the last one year, in our attempt to give further momentum to the Council`s activities, we have taken a few steps. The first and foremost has been the setting up of the Council`s website to provide instant information to our existing and potential members as well as to others. As you will kindly observe from our website, it provides complete information about the Council`s objectives and activities. It is our best endeavour to always keep it up-to-date by including in it the minutes of all the Executive Committee Meetings, proceedings of the seminars and the list of members. It is being further expanded to include in it the membership form.

While doing so, we, in the Secretariat, are fully conscious of the difficulty of our outstation and overseas members to keep them fully up-to-date with the Council`s activities and take them along with our agenda for ushering in golden era in the Afro-Asian Book Industry. The members will now have the facility to interact with the Council`s Secretariat any time by e-mail and give us their valuable suggestion. I feel that in view of the fast technological changes the time is not far off when the Council should conduct proceedings of seminar or AGM through video conferencing method to give a feel to our members that while sitting elsewhere they are one of us. At present, with a view to disseminate effective information, the Council`s Secretariat has been revitalized to induct persons with necessary talents and galvanize our activities and programmes.

The second major change has been to redesign our AABC Newsletter. Two issues of the Newsletter have been brought out in 2005 in succession. At present, it is a quarterly Newsletter but later on, if the situation permits, we can change its frequency. We are grateful to our member Mr Anil Khurana of Saras Graphics in New Delhi for making it presentable. Through this Newsletter we would like to disseminate information to our members and others about our activities. It will also continue carrying intimation to our members about the international book fairs and their importance. You may be pleased to learn that we now have provision to send to anybody by e-mail this Newsletter when the people will have the facility to glance at the colourful images while enjoying the news items well in time.

Friends! With such new changes, we are also continuing with the traditional means of participation in the inter-national book fairs though with a slight change. The Secretariat continues requesting the international book fair authorities for a complimentary stall, hospitality and airfare to the Council`s representative at the book fairs. The representative will have the necessary guidelines to participate in the book fairs. While displaying books at the book fair he should be able to project the Council`s objectives in the seminars or otherwise at the stall. Wherever essential, he/she should be able to conduct workshops etc. with a view to ensure that the Afro-Asian Book Council is broadbased and gets new members. More members from more and more countries should help us in reaching our objective of the development of authorship and publishing in Afro-Asian countries as our founding fathers had envisioned. Co-operation from the international book fair authorities should help us to depute people with right talents who should be able to accomplish the objectives of the Council.

During the year 2005, we wrote to 35 international book fair authorities, but we could get response from Beijing, Seoul, Moscow, Nigeria and Taipei. At all such places, books of our intending members are displayed. As a matter of procedure, on receipt of complimentary stall we circulate the information to our members and if there is more than one applicant, the decision is made by draw. The report of the member participant is included in the AABC Newsletter.

The Afro-Asian Book Council has now a proposal to bring two separate books to take forward the Afro-Asian Book Industry. If we have to develop the Afro-Asian Book Industry as a whole, we not only need to encourage creative authorship in our region but also explore more avenues for exchange of literature inter se among the countries themselves either through the sale of physical books and journals or through the transaction of Rights. This is possible if the publishers of Asian and African countries are able to know the potential market in each country involved.

For this purpose, the first book we have in mind can contain articles on the development of publishing in each country from eminent persons from Asia as well as Africa. The second book will, inter alia, contain profiles of each Asian and African countries with maps. We also intend to provide information in the appendix about the prospects of each international book fair. We hope that the authorities conducting these book fairs will cooperate with us in our endeavour. Along with this, it will also have some chapters conducive to the development of authorship and publishing. Towards this end in view, we have approached the foreign missions in India and Indian missions abroad to furnish us the necessary information. We would also request our members to help us in this regard. If you have any suggestion in this regard, it can be sent to the Council`s Secretariat.

With emerging technology, Internet and innovative means of communication, the world has been reduced to a global village. The publishing industry every-where has to explore ways and means to cater to the need of our intellectuals throughout the world. Our books and publications should no longer be limited to our province or our nation. The entire market in all the Asian and African countries has to be with us despite our variance in culture, national prejudices or even languages. The basic premise is that each country or the nation has its innovative thinking or knowledge. Those of us who are manning the book industry have the responsibility to make this knowledge available to the people at large, either through printed or electronic means.

Electronic Publishing, about which we talked of only yesterday, has surged forward and we cannot afford to lag behind the developed world. The publishing industry in Asia and Africa will have to take steps to move forward. In this situation, Afro-Asian Book Council should provide the effective means and forum to explore ways and means to take us further and in the right direction.

For this purpose, I once again request the new Chairman, the past Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons of the various regions, members of the Executive Council and other members to help us actively in our membership drive while bringing the objective of our Council to enroll more and more authors, translators, illustrators, educational institutions, publishers, book distribution organizations, book development councils or organizations and even booksellers to join us in our attempt to make the Afro-Asian Book Industry more vibrant.

Annual Report/AGM

Annual Report for the year 2006

Annual Report for the year 2008

Annual Report for the year 2010

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