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Nigeria international book fair goes virtual

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Arrangements have reached advanced stages for this year’s Nigeria International Book Fair. The festival holds online.According to the organisers, the Nigeria Book Fair Trust (NBFT), this will be Nigeria’s First Virtual Book Fair and it is a free-to-exhibit and free-to-attend event with the theme: Information Technology as a Panacea for the Book Industry Sustainability Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to Gbadega Adedapo, President, Nigerian Publishers Association and Chairman – Nigerian Book Fair Trust, “due to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, physical stakeholder interaction won’t be allowed. All activities will be done via virtual processes.”

The Nigeria Virtual Book Fair 2020 has been slated to hold between September 1 and 7, 2020. Adedapo said this year’s fair is loaded with interesting programmes such as, the book fair conference, panelists discussion, exhibition, book sales, children programmes, buying and selling of rights, networking and several mind-blowing webinar sessions organised by various key stakeholders like authors, publishers, printers, booksellers and librarians, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and others.

He said this well packaged, well-organised fair is the biggest and most consistent book event in Africa today. “NIBF, for short, is a yearly book trade and exhibition that creates an effective platform for the stakeholders in the industry both within and outside Nigeria to network and have business interface for the growth of their respective businesses.”

According to him, “the intention is to ignite the passion of the book industry’s stakeholders, open up opportunities for them beyond Nigerian shores, by creating an online presence, promote books and reading culture irrespective of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing an online platform that will avail participants replica (if not better experience) as can be enjoyed at a regular book fair.”Huago Setzer, president of International Publishers Association, Switzerland, will deliver the keynote address.

Meanwhile, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has expressed its readiness to participate in the book fair. This is contained in a statement issued and signed by the National President of the association, Mr. Camillus Chima Ukah, in Owerri on Friday.

Recall that the association participated in the last year fair under the association’s yearly Authors’ Groove. Authors’ groove is an integral part of the fair, which aimed to help improve the standards of creative writing, its members and their works. The objective also include to evaluate what situations existed in the creative writing industry and raise awareness regarding what is being done and what needed to be done.

Last year’s theme, Pushing the Writer’s Craft & Business in the Age of ICT, fêted 11 guest writers, which included, Akeem Lasisi, Folu Agoi, Henry Akubuiro, Eriata Orhibabor, Taofeek Olatunbosun, Lola Akande, Dagga Tolar, Oladele Medayese. Tolani Salawu, Abigail Ohiero and Dickson Ekhaguere.

The event held at the Jelili Adebisi Omotola Hall (formerly Multi-purpose Hall) University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State.ANA, however, has enjoined its members to register via the Fair’s official website at https://nibfng.org/ as more information will be unveiled on the official website of ANA.


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