Preparations for this yearâ€™s edition of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair to be heldÂ in Harare later this month are atÂ an advanced stage as 60 participants have already confirmed their attendance.
150 participants are expected to take part at this yearâ€™s edition of the fair which will focus on young writers under the theme â€œPromoting Cross Cultural dialogue.â€
The exhibition is also expected to offer the platform for the deliberation of a number of issues that affect the literary arts industry.
The Executive Director of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Greenfield Chilongo said this year’s book fair would guard, uphold and restore the reading culture in generations to come by hosting a number of activities.Â
â€œThe first two days of the Fair will focus on the Indaba and the third day will be dedicated to youths while the key note addresses will come from various speakers from Zimbabwe and the region,â€ said Chilongo.
The Zimbabwe International Book Fair, which is held annually in Harare,Â has been the largest and most important book fair in Sub-Saharan Africa.
However, lack of funding has been affecting ZIBFÂ activities for the past four years until Culture Fund of Zimbabwe awarded the Book Fair a grant of US$10,000.00 to assist in stopping the downward trend of recent years.
â€œLast year The Culture Fund assisted us with cash for theÂ hosting ofÂ the Book Fair Indaba. This important gathering saw various writers, librarians and publishers from Zimbabweâ€™s local universities, publishing houses and other institutions congregating for a scholarly and academic discourse,â€ Chilonga said.
In 2009, the event had over 30 publishing houses, booksellers, individuals and organisations taking up stands to open up their libraries and book collections to the general public.
SinceÂ its inception in 1983, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair became Africa’s premier Fair and was associated with activities such as the production of a ‘Book in a Day’, special exhibits, meetings and writers awards.Â
At this yearâ€™s event, there will be a platform for live performances dubbed the Live Literature Centre was very popular last year with poets, writers, musicians and other creators taking to the centre stage.
The performances will be free of charge to the general public and catered for both the young and old. A writerâ€™s workshop for budding writers will also take place on the sidelines of the book fair to capacitate young Zimbabwean writers.