ChristianTrade Training Offers Support and Encouragement to Nigerian Booksellers
Contact: Kim Pettit
ChristianTrade Association International
+1 (719) 432-8428
During the last two weeks of May, ChristianTrade Association International (CTAI) and the Christian Booksellers Association Nigeria (CBAN) combined forces to train over 75 retailers and publishers in two Nigerian cities. Jack Scott, ChristianTrade’s Director of Training and Member Development, taught a three-day “Professional Retailer Institute” in Lagos May 23-25, and a two-day institute in Kaduna May 28-29.
Both events brought together CBAN members and non-member stores as well as publishers and distributors. Dr. Anthony Akpokene, Managing Director of Flomat Books and CBAN Vice President of Training led the effort to bring retailers from around Nigeria to the two locations.
“Tony Akpokene worked tirelessly to recruit participants – including handing out flyers at the Nigerian International Book Fair,” noted Scott. “In the end, there were representatives from publishers and stores from Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba and throughout the entire city of Lagos, a sprawling metropolis of more than 20 million.”
The Institute traveled to northern Nigeria to Kaduna, a city that made headlines this Easter Sunday when a car-bomb exploded in the center of the city killing more than 100 people. The Kaduna Assemblies of God Church hosted the institute, which was held in the downtown church, barely 200 yards from where the radical Muslim’s car exploded. More than 40 owners and managers of stores came from as far away as Zaria, Jos, and the capital of Abuja.
The Professional Retail institute included modules on inventory management, customer service, and other topics. In addition, Dr. Akpokene taught about how to price resources purchased both abroad and within Nigeria so as to recover all the costs that go into buying, shipping, and clearing merchandise. Pastor Remi Morgan, Managing Director of Laterna Ventures, taught a class on the theory and practice of marketing within the Nigerian context, including insights into use of emerging electronic media in West Africa.
The training was very well received. One veteran bookseller from Victoria Island noted: “This is excellent! It is a vital aid to the thorough understanding of the book selling business.”
“I am thankful we were able to provide this training,” says Kim Pettit, ChristianTrade’s Executive Director. “Our brothers and sisters in Nigeria are equipping the Church on the front lines, and they deserve our encouragement and support.”
CBA Nigeria President Modupe Ehirim adds, “I am delighted that we are making giant strides in providing much-needed training for our members and indeed the larger book trade in Nigeria. We are immensely grateful to our local sponsors, the Tyndale Foundation, and ChristianTrade in making the Professional Retail Institute in Nigeria a reality.”
A Tyndale Foundation grant enabled Jack Scott to travel to Africa and helped underwrite the event. Edwin Anya, Managing Director of Evangel Bookshops and Publishing Company, also brought together a group of local sponsors to underwrite the cost of a two-day institute in Kaduna.
Anya plans to be at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Orlando July 15-18. He is meeting with a number of U.S. publishers to discuss how the trade can combat piracy, and will bring stunning examples of pirated books and Bibles from China now being sold in Nigeria. CBAN’s Ehirim will also take part in ICRS; she will serve as a member on the panel for the International Business Vision general session.
CBA Nigeria meets next on August 7 for a symposium of stakeholders across the Christian retail industry. Segun Olayemi, CBAN vice president and manager of Oasis Publishing’s Lagos shop and warehouse) will facilitate the gathering.
For more information on ChristianTrade and CBAN events and initiatives, or to set up meetings for the International Christian Retail Show, please contact Kim Pettit (+1-719-432-8428; kpettit@ChristianTrade.com).
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, please visit www.ChristianTrade.com or e-mail info@ChristianTrade.com.