We were still savouring the glorious times from last year when Port Harcourt was World Book Capital when we heard the news that will see another African city as the World Book Capital as soon as 2017. This decision to have Conakry, Guinea as the World Book Capital for 2017 was made by a committee of experts on 30 June but it only came to my knowledge a few minutes ago. Clearly I have to put this “World Book Capital” business on my Google Alerts if we are going to be having it happening this often.
The selection committee singled out the Guinea capital city “on account of the quality and diversity of its programme, in particular its focus on community involvement” as well as “for its well-structured budget and clear development goals with a strong emphasis on youth and literacy”.
The World Book Capital is selected every year by the international organizations that represent the three major sectors of the book industry: the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
So 2017 it is. World Book Capital for all of us. And a small matter of an election in Kenya and all the fun that goes with it. Till then we have to survive through this year’s World Book Capital Incheon and then the 2016 Wroclaw edition. Then its fun, fun, fun.
Other cities on the continent to have been World Book Capital before Port Harcourt? Alexandria in 2002.