The Hargeysa International Book Fair 2018 will hosted in Hargeysa, Somaliland with the theme “Wisdom” from July 21-26, 2018. This year partner country for the festival is East African country Rwanda.
The Hargeysa International Book Fair is an annual cultural event in Somaliland run by Redsea Online Culture Foundation. The festival first run in 2007 has gone on become one of the largest public book fairs in the Horn of Africa. It brings writers, poets, artists and thinkers from Somaliland and from all over the world gather to share and discuss their art and literary productions with a wider audience.
One of the unique features of the festival is to partner with the countries from around the world where more writers, poets and other artists from that country feature. The festival has in the last decade featured partner countries from Djibouti (2012), the United Kingdom (2013), Malawi (2014), Nigeria (2015), Ghana (2016) and South Africa (2017).
The organisers of the festival have announced the country which will be the featured partner and this year it is Rwanda which less than three decades ago was embroiled in horrific genocide, but which has reemerged as a proud, progressive and leading country in Africa.
Speaking during the announcement Hargeysa Cultural Center Director Dr Jama Musse Jama said, “Rwanda is also reclaiming its narrative and knowledge production and we are pleased to welcome writers, poets and film-makers, but also policy makers and influential people that shaped the recent history of Rwanda. The parallel between Somaliland’s own difficult recent history and road recovery are many- and with Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame elected as the 2018 chairperson for African Union, it seems that their futures are also intertwined.”
This year the festival will have a double treat as it will running alongside the Somali Studies International Association which will be hosting their 40th annual congress from July 22-24. You can learn more about that event here.
We shall keep you posted as and when the confirmed guests are announced. You can follow the team running the festival online by contacting either the founder on Twitter or the official festival handle.