Bold New Pan African Collaboration Gets Underway At The 2020 Virtual South African Book Fair

A bold and exciting Pan African collaboration gets underway at the upcoming South African Book Fair which takes place as a virtual event from September 11th to 13th.

The initiative aims to create a collaborative and co-ordinated approach towards increasing the promotion of local, African-owned and -controlled book production industries as well as the exchange of writers, illustrators and storytellers on the continent’s national book fair platforms.

“Africa’s stories are the new gold and are potentially a significant wealth generator for the continent,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO South African Book Development Council (SABDC).

The virtual South African Book Fair programme will feature an important discussion on Book Development in Africa between SABDC’s Elitha van der Sandt and Ernesticia Lartey Asuinura, Executive Director of Ghana Book Development Council. The session is moderated by APNET chairperson Samuel Kolawole.

A key panel in furthering the literary aspect of the Pan African Collaboration takes place on September 12th at 14h30. Titled Giving Books A Place Of Pride In Africa: The Role Of Literary Journals On The Continent, this South African Book Fair session features Rémy Ngamije, editor of Namibia’s first literary magazine, Doek!, Jennifer Malec of The Johannesburg Review Of Books, Troy Onyango, editor of Kenyan literary magazine Lolwe and Dr Ainehi Edoro-Glines, founder and editor of African literary blog, Brittle Paper. In a discussion to be moderated by Kenya-based James Murua of James Marua’s African Literature Blog, the panel will discuss the gaps that necessitated the creation of their diverse literary journals, as well as the challenges and opportunities available in the literary space.

There are also a number of African authors taking part in the South African Book Fair’s 2020 programme. Among these is award-winning Nigerian writer, Chiké Frankie Edozien (Lives Of Great Men) who will join South Africans Mark Gevisser (The Pink Line) and Jamil F. Khan, (Khamr: The Makings Of A Waterslams) to discuss their queer journeys, and past, present and future LGBTQ+ frontiers on September 13th at 12h00.

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