The Nairobi International Book Fair 2021, scheduled to run in Nairobi, Kenya from September 28 – October 2, 2021, has been called off indefinitely on Covid-19 concerns.
The Nairobi International Book Fair is a regional marketplace for books bringing together publishing professionals, authors, booksellers, print suppliers, media, and readers from Africa and around the world. Organised by the Kenya Publishers Association, it has been held for the last 23 years and has grown to be one of the leading book exhibition places in the region.
The book fair was scheduled for a return after going virtual in 2020 due to the Covid-19 fears that we all were going through. On its return at its traditional home at the Sarit Centre, those who attended would be treated to Workshops and seminars on topical issues, book launches, children’s activities, a budding Authors Seminar, a seminar on how to get published, a books exhibition, and loads more. There was also going to be an announcement of the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, probably the most respected in the region.
It seems that the fair won’t be running at the scheduled time as earlier planned as they sent out a statement. Below is the statement in full.
The Kenya Publishers Association wishes to announce the postponement of the 23rd Nairobi International Bookfair that was set for 28th September to 2nd October 2021.
After careful consultative discussions with key stakeholders, the KPA board agreed that the presidential directive issued on 18th August 2021, vide Public order No. 5 on the Coronavirus pandemic suspending public gatherings and in person meetings be strictly adhered to and hence the board has postponed the bookfair to a later date, notwithstanding the strict and meticulous Covid 19 protocols advanced by the Sarit Centre management.
In view of the above, the board shall be watching the environment and ministry directives in order to communicate to general public and potential exhibitors on the new bookfair dates. Kenya Publishers Association is keen to make the Nairobi International Bookfair happen soon. Please also note that once the date is set the Bookfair will still be blended (both in person and virtual).
The board wishes to thank the general public for the kind support and understanding as we walk this journey of business within unprecedented times where health and safety are part of the mix. We shall share the new dates of the bookfair soon. Kenya Publishers Association is keen in delivering a successful book fair this year.
There is no information about the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature but respected Kenya blog Maisha Yetu reports that “the judging process of the manuscripts is on-going and nominees will soon be announced.”