Reading is one of Egypt’s soft powers - EPA official website
CAIRO - 11 May 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic clearly affected the publishing industry in the world in general, and in the Arab world in particular. Many international exhibitions that are considered crucial for marketing and selling books were canceled.
In Egypt, the Egyptian Publishers Association (EPA) took several steps to discuss how to get out of the crisis.
Recently, the president of the association, publisher Saeed Abdo, explained all the procedures that the board has taken since the beginning of the epidemic, to confront the major crisis that Egyptian publishers are going through because of this crisis.
As a result of these procedures, Abdo said that Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Daym agreed to support the association’s treasury with a sum of money, to support the Egyptian publishers.
Also, Abdel Dayem instructed the Culture Palaces Authority to allocate an amount of money in the next budget for purchasing from Egyptian publishers. Abdo indicated that the meeting held with Abdel Dayem in April came to discuss ways to support publishers to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
It was agreed during the meeting to allocate a significant portion of the budget to the libraries as of the next fiscal year (1/7/2020) to purchase from publishers through a joint committee between the ministry and the association.
It was also decided that member publishers will participate in the villages' book fair organized by the General Authority of Cultural Palaces, as well as in the ministry’s e-initiative “Stay Home; Culture is Between Your Hands”.
Additionally, the Ministry of Culture supports the association’s initiative (Stay Home With A Great Company) in cooperation with all the bodies of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.
In statements made to the press, the head of the Egyptian Publishers Association explained that a mini-committee was formed to meet a number of ministers, including the minister of industry, to discuss making publishing an industry so that publishers can benefit from the state's support in financing and supporting small projects.
Furthermore, a meeting is set to be held with the minister of education and the minister of higher education to allocate a sum from their budgets to purchase books, whether for school or university students.
Also, the association will convene with the minister of youth and sports to provide youth centers with books and publications from the ministry's allocations.
The head of the Egyptian Publishers Association explained that it will be agreed with the minister of local development, to provide permits for the establishment of libraries, and to support and establish Street 306, which will be designated for libraries.