There are several activities lined up across the continent as International African Writer’s Day is celebrated on November 7, 2020.
International African Writer’s Day was designated as November 7 on the day that the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) was founded. This was following the Conference of African Ministers of Education and Culture, meeting in Cotonou, Benin in 1991. Since then, many activities are hosted to celebrate this auspicious day.
In 2020, there will be several events hosted to mark the day. In Ghana, the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) will host a virtual event in conjunction with the Library of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD). This virtual event with the title, “Literary Festivals: Creating New Platforms for African Writers” will be moderated by LOATAD founder Sylvia Arthur and hosted by PAWA Secretary-General Wale Okediran. On the panel will be Hargeysa International Book Fair founder Jama Musse Jama, LitFest Harare’s Chirikure Chirikure, Uganda International Book Fair’s Charles Batambuze, Pa Gya! Literary Festival’s Elizabeth Johnson, and Southern Writers Bureau Co-Founder. Jennipher Zulu. To participate in this Zoom event which starts at 2 pm GMT/3pm WAT/ 4 pm CAT/ 5 pm EAT, please click here.
Further South, the winners of the South African Literary Awards are set to be revealed. The awards, founded in 2005, celebrate the best in writing in the Southern African country across genre and language. Registration information for the virtual event starting at 19:00 CAT (17:00 GMT, 18:00 WAT, 20:00 EAT) can be found here.
Staying in South Africa, South African Poet Laureate Prof Wally Mongane Serote will deliver the 8th International African Writers Day Lecture, titled: “Decolonising Africa’s Literary Heritage: Debunking Myths – A Look To The Future.” The event at the Africa Century International African Writers Conference will have Dr Steve Sharra and Prof Wangui Wa Goro as the keynote address co-discussants. To join this event, you can get information here.
This is not an official International African Writer’s Day event but you can also check out the literary centred conversations between Lorna Likiza (Heroe Book Fair) and Audrey Shipp (Decolonial Passage) at 2 pm GMT/3 pm WAT/4 pm CAT/5 pm EAT. The session is in preparation for the upcoming Heroe Book Fair (March 22-26, 2021) and Audrey’s new literary journal, Decolonial Passage. Details are on the poster above.