silya2The Yaounde International Book Exhibition 2016 kicked off in Yaounde, Cameroon earlier today and will run from 2-6 June. The theme of the fair is, “The Book: Vector of Integration and Development.” The proper French name for the event, which was first hosted in 2013, is Salon international du livre de Yaoundé (Silya 2016).

The festival aims to promote books and reading as well as its major actors in Cameroon and the larger Central Africa. Participants will experience book launches; conferences and debates; writing workshops and youth book illustration as well as games and animation, amongst other activities.

The organisers have invited 100 Cameroonian book professionals living in the country and at least 10 Cameroonian authors from the Diaspora. There is also confirmed participation of five countries who are Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) members. With these authors, there is a hope that there will be sales of books in the hundreds.

Eugene Ebode Photo/http://www.rfi.fr/

Eugene Ebode Photo/http://www.rfi.fr/

Some of the personalities that will be featuring will be award winning Cameroon writer Eugene Ebode who has written novels like Transmission, (Gallimard, 2002), Divine wrath, (Gallimard, 2004),  Silikani (Gallimard, 2006), Ms. Africa (APIC, 2011), Métis Palisade (Gallimard, 2012), The Rose in the yellow bus, (Gallimard, 2013), and Sovereign Beautiful (Gallimard, 2014). Other Cameroonians on panels and other events will be journalist Francois Bingono Bingono, dramatist and short story writer Guillaume Oyono-Mbia, Gaston Kelman, and Kouam Tawa.

Mohamed Salmawy

Mohamed Salmawy

From outside Cameroon, there will be legendary Egyptian novelist, playwright, editor, poet, journalist, columnist and political commentator Mohamed Salmawy. Salmawy is the President of the Egyptian Writers Union and Secretary General of the General Union of Arab Writers. He is the editor in chief of the newspaper Al-Ahram Hebdo. BA in English Literature from the University of Cairo. His most well known work of prose is Butterfly Wings: An Egyptian Novel. Also featuring will be Beninean historian and translator Dieudonne Gnammankou, and Burundian Juvenal Ngorwanubusa and many more.