The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Global and the Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI) are delighted to partner with The Royal African Society (RSA) on the annual Africa Writes Festival as part of the Scottish Business in Africa Forum.


Creative Industries and Publishing in Africa

📅3 July 2017
16:45 - 19:30 (2 hours 45 minutes)


👤Louise Umutoni, Publisher, Communications Expert and Writer, Founder of Huza Press

👤Abdulai Silá, Author, Guinea Bissau

👤Jethro Soutar, Translator and Editor, Dedalus Books

👤Dr Ola Uduku, International Dean for Africa, Edinburgh Global


The Scottish Business Africa in Forum (SBIAF), now into its second year, is delighted to host a forum on the topic of creative industries, publishing, and translating in Africa. The forum will bring togther leading academics and businesses who work in this space and are looking to develop international connections. It will be hosted at Blackwells Bookshop in Edinburgh so a great setting for such an important event.

This SBIAF comprises part of the Africa Writes Festival - an annual celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora and hosted by The Royal African Society. Every year, Africa Writes showcases established and emerging talent from the African continent and its diaspora in what is now the UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary African writing. The festival features book launches, readings, author appearances, panel discussions, youth and children’s workshops, and other activities. Previous headline speakers have been Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ngugi wa Thiong’o with son Mukoma wa Ngugi, Wole Soyinka, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ben Okri and Nawal El Saadawi.

In Edinburgh, we are delighted to be hosting a pop up event, focusing broadly on the creative industries and more specifically on and publishing and translation. We have three exciting speakers who you won't want to miss. Please note, registration is limited so be sure to sign up.


16:45 - 17:15: Registration, Networking and Browsing Blackwells

17:15 - 17:35: Louise Umutoni Reading and Presentation

17:35 - 17:55: Abdulai Silá Reading and Presentation

17:55 - 18:15: Jethro Soutar Presentation

18:15 - 18:45: Question and Answer Session (chaired by Dr Ola Uduku)

18:45 - 19:30: Networking Drinks Reception

About the Speakers

Louise Umutoni

Louise Umutoni is a Rwandan publisher, communications expert and writer. She is a University of Oxford alumnus and the founder of Huza Press, a Rwandan-based publishing press devoted to supporting African literary craftsmanship. Huza Press runs Rwanda’s biggest prize for fiction.

Louise started her career as a journalist and worked as a regular reporter and contributor for several newspapers and magazines, such as the Gazette and Ottawa Citizen in Canada, The New Times Rwanda and Enterprise Magazine. She also worked in the legal field before returning to Rwanda to create the country’s first women’s writing group, Andika Ma and eventually establishing Huza Press.

Louise is passionate about knowledge creation and dissemination in Africa. She has written academically on National Liberation Movements in Africa and women’s political inclusion. Her work was selected for the Winihin-Jemide grant and Aegis Trust research grant. She is currently working on a book that looks at the role of women in National Liberation Movements in Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Abdulai Silá

Abdulai Silá was born in 1958 in Catió, Guinea Bissau. He moved to the capital, Bissau, to complete his school studies and then to Dresden, Germany, to complete a degree in Power Engineering. He currently lives in Bissau and combines telecommunications work with writing. He is the author of four novels, A Última Tragédia, Eterna Paixão [Eternal Passion], Mistida [Mixed] and Memórias [Mantic Memories], all of which deal with Bissau-Guinean culture and history. He is the co-founder of the publisher Ku Si Mon Editora and he has also written a play, As Orações de Mansat [Mansat's Prayers], a Bissau-Guinean Macbeth.

Jethro Soutar

Jethro Soutar is a translator of Spanish and Portuguese. His translations include two novels by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel of Equatorial Guinea: By Night the Mountain Burns, shortlisted for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and The Gurugu Pledge, forthcoming from And Other Stories. His translation of The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila is the first novel from Guinea-Bissau to be made available in English. He is a co-founder of Ragpicker Press and Editor of Dedalus Africa.


First Floor
Blackwells Bookshop Edinburgh South Bridge
53-59 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1YS, UK


👤 Georgina Jamieson
📞 +44 (0)131 651 5978