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Book Fair dates announced

13 Sep 2013

It is important for the literary and book sector to embrace new technologies as the changing society and technological revolutions around us demand an adjustment in order to remain relevant, a leading academic and writer says.

Speaking at a press conference in HARARE yesterday, chairperson of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) Executive Board Musaemura Zimunya said the main edition of the ZIBF will run from September 30 to October 5.

“Back in December 2012, we had scheduled our Book Fair to take place from July 29 to August 3, 2013.

“Unfortunately, none of us could have been prophetic enough to foresee these dates clashing with the period of our national plebiscite.

“Given that we experience an unusual concentration of energies, some positive, others negative, prior to, during and after the elections, we found it prudent to push our dates further back, however, inconvenient it seemed at the time.”

Thanking ZIBF’s funding partners-Culture Fund in partnership with the EU, Kopinor,British Council, Hivos in partnership with the with the Norwegian Embassy and the media-Zimunya said the Office of the President and Cabinet had donated computers to ZIBF.

Zimunya, who is a renowned poet said ZIBF will this year “commorate 30 years in existence as the closest thing to Africa’s prime Book Fair” adding that the theme-ZIBF @ 30:Enabling Creativity. Writing and Publishing and Reading for Africa’s Growth aptly sums up ZIBF’s focus over the years.

Buoyed by the success of the Bulawayo and Masvingo book fairs introduced the literary evening an event the ZIBF chairperson said had provided an inspiring trail run for the main event in Harare and the Mutare Book fair in October.

“The idea is to bring back the buzz and ambience or atmosphere for which the Book Fair was famous at its height,” he said.

The wide array of topics forming the thrust of this year’s indaba, among  them “Indigenous languages and knowledge systems”, “Digitisation”, “Dialogue and Tolerance in African Communities” and “Health and Environment” are bound to be of interest taking into account their relevance to local African settings.

The all-stakeholders anti-piracy workshop, Zimunya also said enabled the industry to meet and discuss the extent of piracy, its causes and characteristics in Zimbabwe as well as identifying possible solutions.

ZIBF has been the largest and most important book fair in sub-Saharan Africa, held annually usually during the first week of August.