Contact: Kim Pettit
ChristianTrade Association International
+1 (719) 432-8428
At Marketsquare Africa 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, 40 Christian publishers, distributors and retailers met with 14 exhibitors representing 20 Christian suppliers, including B&H Publishing, Moody, Strang, Thomas Nelson, and Tyndale. The Nairobi event, organized with ChristianTrade Kenya, was part of a three-country convention planned by ChristianTrade Association International.
Exhibitors began by visiting the offices of local bookstores and publishers, including Uzima, Wakestar, Keswick, CLC, New Day, Scripture Union and Biblica. There, they learned that in this country of 30 million people, 80% profess to be Christian. Approximately 80% of the Christian books distributed in the country are imported; the remaining 20% are locally-published books by Kenyan authors or licensed titles.
“The sky’s the limit when it comes to the future of the industry in Kenya,” says Margareta Hakanson of Keswick Books and Gifts, Nairobi’s largest Christian bookstore. There has been an enormous improvement in locally-published books; they are indistinguishable from foreign ones.”
“I am excited about having Marketsquare Africa here,” says Hakanson, affirming the value of the bookseller and publisher training offered by ChristianTrade. “There is so much we are not doing!”
The event was “well-attended,” said Dee Goodhew of Great Value Books in Waynesboro, Georgia, USA. In addition to Kenyans, booksellers from Tanzania and Uganda were also present.
“Our foreign suppliers have all expressed that the event was well worth their presence,” says Kim Pettit, director for ChristianTrade. “Many are already asking when the next Marketsquare Africa will take place.”
Jackie Ojiambo, owner of Wells Books and Gifts and president of ChristianTrade Kenya, expects the event to grow in coming years, as does Barine Kirimi of Evangel Publishing, her predecessor.
”We are in a challenging industry,” affirmed Kirimi, “but there is lots of opportunity in Kenya. The bigger we grow, the better it is. The limit is not the sky. It isn’t heaven either,” he added. “The limit is much more than we can imagine!”
ChristianTrade Association International is a worldwide association of nations, companies, and individuals committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by distributing Christian resources. It holds international regional conventions in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America; publishes an annual Christian-trade directory; hosts international events at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show; and serves as a catalyst for growing the Christian trade worldwide. For more information about exhibiting or sponsoring at next year’s show, please contact Kim Pettit (+1-719-432-8428 or kpettit@ChristianTrade.com). For more information about ChristianTrade activities, please visit www.ChristianTrade.com or e-mail info@ChristianTrade.com.