A snapshot of Poetry Africa 2018.
9 10 mins 3 yrs

Covering the length and breadth of the continent, here is a list of African literary festivals you can attend in 2019. This list is regularly updated as and when information becomes available.

2018 was a very literary festival filled year for Africa. East Africa had a variety of festivals including the Hargeysa International Book Fair, the Mogadishu Book Fair, the Babishai Poetry Festival, the Kistreach Festival, the Sigana International Storytelling festival, and the Writivism Festival. West Africa’s festivals were the Ake Festival, the Lagos International Poetry Festival, Ghana International Book Fair, The Mboka Festival, the 72 heures du Livre, the Niyi Osundare Poetry Festival, and the Pa Gya! Festival.

In North Africa, festivals were hosted in the cities of Cairo, Algiers, Tunis, and Casablanca. In Southern Africa, there were festivals galore like the Abantu Festival, Rutanang Book Fair, Open Book Festival, Time of the Writer, Poetry Africa, South African Book Fair, Litfest Harare, and the new kid of the block Gaborone Book Festival.

This year promises just as many literary high jinks as in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. It’s only fair, like in the previous four years, that we give you our annual list of festivals that will be happening in 2019. Some have announced their dates for 2019 like the Time of the Writer in Durban, South Africa and the Ake Festival in Lagos. Others like Senegal based FILDAK which happen every two years is set to make a return. Then there are others who return at certain months which we will list according to the historical precedent.

Please note that this is a work in progress and will be updated as and when information is availed to this blogger. If you have information to help us curate the literary festivals on the continent or in the diaspora with an African interest please don’t hesitate contacting us.

Like sands through the hourglass, these are the literary festivals of our lives (in 2019).


Event: Mboka Festival 2019
Date: January 21-28, 2019.
Venue: Banjul, The Gambia.
Information: Mboka festival official website and Facebook page. You can also follow our posts on Mboka Festival here.

Event: Cairo International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Cairo, Egypt.
Dates: January 23 – February 5.


Event: Asmara Addis Literary Festival 2019
Venue: Brussels, Belgium
Dates: February 9, 2019
Information: Our report of the festival.

Event: Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre de Casablanca (Casablanca International Book Fair) 2019
Venue: Casablanca, Morocco
Dates: February 07-17th, 2019
Information: the official website.

Festival: Atlantide Literary Festival.
Venue: Nantes, France.
Dates: February 28 to March 3
Information: Check out our festival report.


Event: Swahili Literary Festival 2019
Venue: Mombasa, Kenya
Dates: March 1-3.
Information: The Facebook page or our festival portal.

Event: Lire a Douala 2019.
Venue: Doula, Cameroon
Dates: March 4-7.
Information: Their Facebook page.

Event: Time of the Writer 2019
Venue: Durban, South Africa
Dates:  March 11-16
Information: The Facebook page. Also, check out our festival report.

Event: Babishai Poetry Festival 2019
Venue: Mbale, Uganda.
Dates: March 21 (World Poetry Day)
Information: http://babishainiwe.com/ or the festival report by Lillian Akampurira Aujo.

Event:  Alexandria International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Alexandra, Egypt
Dates: March 25 to April 7
Information: From Bibliotheca Alexandrina the event organisers website


Event: International Book Fair of Tunis 2019
Venue: Tunis, Tunisia.
Dates: April 6-14, 2019

Event: 72 heures du Livre 2019
Venue: Conakry, Guinee.
Dates: April 23-25.
Information: Facebook Page.

Event: African Book Festival 2019
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Dates: April 4-7.
Information: https://africanbookfestival.de/ and Facebook. Also, check out our festival page.


Event: Nigeria International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Lagos, Nigeria
Dates: May 6-11
Information: Official festival/fair website and Facebook page.

Event: Salon International du Livre d’Abidjan 2019 (International Book Fair of Abidjan)
Venue: Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
Dates: May 15-19.
Information: [email protected]

Event: Uganda International Writers Conference 2019
Venue: Kampala, Uganda.
Dates: May 15-17.
Information: Check out our festival report.

Event: Sigana International Storytelling Festival 2019
Venue: Nairobi and Kisumu, Kenya.
Dates: May 25 to June 9.
Information: Facebook.


Event: Afrolution 2019
Date: June 13-16.
Venue: Berlin, Germany.
Information: Check out our festival report.

Event: Benue Books & Arts Festival 2019.
Dates: June 20-22.
Venue: Makurdi, Nigeria.

Event: Festival De Literatura Mundo Sal 2019.
Dates: June 27-30.
Venue: Sal, Cape Verde.
Information: Their Facebook Page.

Event: Africa Writes Bristol 2019.
Dates: June 28- July 4.
Venue: Bristol, UK.


Event: Africa Writes 2019
Venue: London, UK.
Dates: July 5-7.

Event: Kismayo Book Fair 2019
Venue: Kismayo, Somalia
Dates: July 7-9
Information: On their official Facebook or Twitter. Check out our festival report.

Event: Abuja Literary Festival 2019
Date: July 11 – 13.
Venue: Abuja, Nigeria.
Information: festival website and Facebook page.

Event: Niyi Osundare Literary Festival 2019.
Venue: University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State
Dates: July 15-17

Event: Hargeysa International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Hargeisa, Somaliland
Dates: July 20-25.
Information: Official Festival website. 

Event: Garoowe International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Garowe, Somalia.
Dates: July 23-25
Information: Their Facebook page.

Event: Poetas D’Alma International Festival (Poetry and Performative Arts).
Venue: Maputo, Mozambique.
Dates: July 25-27.

Event: Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya
Dates: July 29 – August 2.
Information: Their official website.


Event: South Africa Children’s Book Fair 2019
Date: August 01-04
Venue: Johannesburg, South Africa.
Information: www.sachildrenbookfair.co.za or Facebook.

Event: Mogadishu Book Fair 2019
Venue: Mogadishu, Somalia.
Dates: August 21-23.
Information: Facebook and Twitter.

Event: Writivism Festival 2019
Venue: Kampala, Uganda.
Dates: August 15 – 17
Information: https://writivism.org/ or on Facebook.

Event: Ghana International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Accra, Ghana
Dates: August 20 – September 1.
Information: Official Website.


Event: Polokwane Literary Festival 2019.
Venue: Polokwane, South Africa.
Dates: September 2-14.
Information: https://www.facebook.com/PLKLitfair/

Event: Open Book Festival 2019
Venue: Cape Town, South Africa
Dates: September 4-8.
Information: http://openbookfestival.co.za/, Facebook and Twitter.

Event: Kistrech International Poetry Festival 2019.
Venue: Kisii, Kenya.
Dates: September 6-10.
Information: Official festival website and Facebook.

Event: Namibia Book Fair 2019
Venue: Windhoek, Namibia
Dates: September 6-7
Information: Their official website or Facebook.

Event: South African Book Fair 2019
Venue: Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dates: September 6-8.
Information: http://www.southafricanbookfair.co.za/

Event: Kaduna Book and Arts Festival 2019 (Kaba Fest)
Venue: Kaduna State, Nigeria
Dates: September 11-14.

Event: Gaborone Book Fair 2019
Venue: Gaborone, Botswana.
Dates: September 19-21.
Information:  Official pages on Facebook and on Twitter.

Event: Nkabom Literary Art Festival 2019
Venue: Accra, Ghana
Dates: September 25- 28
Information: http://inkfluent.com/

Event: African Writers Conference 2019.
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya.
Dates: September 27 – 29.
Information:  Official website.

Event: Macondo Literary Festival 2019
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya.
Dates: September 27 – 29.
Information:  Official website.

Event: Nairobi International Book Fair 2019
Venue: Nairobi, Kenya
Dates: September 26-30
Details: Kenya Publishers Association

Event: Rencontres Internationales du Livre du Bénin 2019
Venue: Cotonou, Benin.
Dates: September 26-28.
Information: https://www.beninlivres.org


Event: Nkabom Literary Art Festival 2019
Venue: Lome, Togo
Dates: October 2-4
Information: http://inkfluent.com/

Event: Northern Cape Writers Festival 2019
Dates: October 9-12.
Venue: Kimberley, South Africa.

Event: Pa Gya! A literary Festival 2019
Venue: Accra, Ghana.
Dates: October 10-20.
Information: Official festival website.

Event: Poetry Africa International Festival 2019
Venue: Durban, South Africa.
Dates: October 16-20.
Information: Official festival information here

Event: Salon Du Livre De Mayotte 2019
Venue: Mamoudzou, Mayotte
Dates: October 17-20
Information: Check out our festival report.

Event: Ake Arts & Books Festival 2019
Venue: Lagos, Nigeria
Dates: October 24-27.
Information: http://www.akefestival.org/ , Facebook and Twitter.

Event: Accra International Book Festival 2019.
Venue: Accra, Ghana.
Dates: October 24-27.
Information: http://accrabookfest.com/ , Facebook and Twitter.

Event: International Book Fair of Algiers (Salon International Du Livre d’Alger)
Venue: Algiers, Algeria.
Dates: October 30 – November 9.
Information:  https://sila.dz/

Event: Lagos International Poetry Festival 2019
Venue: Lagos, Nigeria.
Dates: October 31- November 4.
Information: https://lagospoetryfestival.com/, Facebook, and Twitter.


Event: Lagos Arts and Book Festival 2019
Venue: Lagos, Nigeria
Dates: November 4-10.
Information: http://www.lagosbookartfestival.org/ and Facebook.

Event: Foire Internationale du Livre de Lomé 2019
Venue: Lome, Togo
Dates: November 6-10
Information: Their official Facebook Page.

Event: Feminart Arts and Book Festival 2019
Venue: Lilongwe, Malawi
Dates:  November 22-23.
Information: Their official website.


Event: Abantu Book Festival 2019
Venue: Soweto, South Africa
Dates: December 5 – 8.
Information: https://www.abantubookfestival.co.za/, Facebook and Twitter.

Event: Sierra Leone National Book Fair 2019
Venue: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Dates: December 5-7

Event: Ghana Writers Conference 2019.
Venue: Accra, Ghana.
Date: December 21

Event: Crater Literary Festival 2019.
Venue: Enugu state, Nigeria.
Date: December 5-7

Event: Ba re e ne re literary Festival 2019
Venue: Maseru, Lesotho
Dates: To be confirmed.
Information: https://barelitfest.com/ and Facebook.

9 thoughts on “African Literary Festivals you can attend in 2019

  1. Am impressed by this list. I should start ticking each festival off my list. I attended the Nairobi International Book Fair 2018 and I loved it.

  2. Good afternoon.
    INKFLUENT will be hosting the ‘Nkabom Literary Art Festival 2019’ in Accra, Ghana from the 25th – 28th September, 2019. And also in Lome, Togo from the 2nd – 4th October, 2019.

    This is the fourth edition of the festival in Ghana, and the second in Togo.

    We will be very grateful if you can publish this on your site. Thank you.

  3. Hello, can we please add a date for our Annual Jozi Book Fair Festival in 2020. The Jozi Book Fair takes place from 26 August – 30 August 2020, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg

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