Jumbo Editorial Team
The Cape Town Book Fair, having started through a joint venture between the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Ausstellungs- und Messe GmbH (Frankfurt Book Fair), has established itself as the best platform for the literary world to gather and trade in the business of publishing.
It was established in 2006 to harness the momentum created by the Harare Book Fair and create another book fair that could fill the vacuum.
It proved to be the right decision because since then the Cape Town Book Fair has become a hugely popular book fair for the general public.
Previously an annual event, in 2011 organisers, the PASA decided to make it a biennial event, starting in 2012.
The eagerly awaited sixth edition will now be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from June 15 to 17. It’s being remodelled and set to impress with organisers confident that this year’s Fair will far outdo expectations: they’re anticipating an exciting mix of representatives from the African, Arab and Asian publishing worlds.
The opening day (June 15) will be observed as the trade-only day until 2 pm, after which the public will be welcomed until 10 pm.
This will give trade visitors an opportunity to share ideas and trade well into the night with representatives from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, the US, Nigeria, Turkey, Ghana, China, the UK, Uganda and the Netherlands.
It caters for all bibliophiles, trade visitors and publishers, with over 200 events, including meet the author sessions, panel discussions, literary forums, book launches and symposiums.
One of Africa's most prolific writers, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, will be participating in the opening session and visitors can look forward to a book reading and signing session as well. He is a prominent novelist and theorist of post-colonial literature, most well-known for Decolonising the Mind.
The Van Riebeeck Society will be launching AB Xuma Autobiography and Selected Works, a compilation of former-ANC leader, Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma's correspondence and prose, edited by Peter Limb.
Two books on Jacob Zuma will be launched during the Fair as well. There will also be panel discussions on ANC policies - with Susan Booysen, Glenda Daniels and Anthony Butler, who will be leading some of these debates.
Renowned academic and educational publishers and exhibitors will be returning this year. Wits University Press, Juta & Co, Unisa Press, UCT Press will be launching and selling books as well as hosting some of the debates. The Cape Town Book Fair had attracted 273 exhibitors and in excess of 33,000 visitors.
This year the Cape Town Book Fair will coincide with the 29th International Publishers’ Association (IPA) Congress. The IPA Congress attracts between 600 and 1000 delegates while the speakers at the congress are top professionals and policy makers in the book sector. This means that the Fair will be enhanced with a decidedly international flavour of the who’s who in the publishing world.