Somaliland calls for African solidarity through book fair

The15th Hargeisa International Book Fair i Image: HANDOUT/ ABDISABID BASHIR
The15th Hargeisa International Book Fair i Image: HANDOUT/ ABDISABID BASHIR

By: The Star

Somaliland is calling for African solidarity through the Hargeisa International Book Fair

Celebrating its 15th anniversary of the famed Hargeisa Book fair with the theme of solidarity, the self-declared independent country hopes to bring the continent together through culture, arts and creativity.

The festival’s country partner this year is Senegal and the theme is “Solidarity”.

One of the key corporate partners for the book fair Dahabshiil Group of Companies said this year’s theme of “Solidarity” will spur the book fair to another level.

Dahabshiil CEO Abdirashid Duale said the Hargeisa book fair has over the last 15 years exposed the region’s creativity in arts and culture.

“Over the last 15 years, the Hargeisa Book Fair has helped to open up business and investment avenues to the entire Horn of Africa,” Duale said.

He said Dahabshiil will continue inspiring creativity to inspire the youth to take up arts as an opportunity to use their talent to build the African economy.

“Solidarity is also vital when it comes to culture and business. Our company has supported the book fair since day one – and now it’s your 15th birthday.” Duale said during the opening day of the weeklong book fair.

 “Dahabshiil is passionate about creativity and the arts. They inspire us and all our customers to think out of the box, to think globally, act locally, and unite in solidarity to improve people’s lives,” he added.

Duale said this week’s naming for the second time of Senegal footballer Sadio Mane as African Player of the Year could not have come at a better time when the Hargeisa book fair has picked Senegal as its partner in the 2022 Hargeisa Book Fair.

“When I watch Senegal’s football star Sadio Mane or our very own Olympic champion Mo Farah, I see how with Solidarity you can bring the local and the international together,” he said.

Sadio Mane and Mo Farah inspire the youth in Africa and the Horn to work hard to build themselves, their image and that of Africa. As Dahabshiil we are proud of their achievements and their contribution to Africa,” he added.

“It’s our core belief that it is the spirit of Solidarity that the public, international and private sector can work together to create common benefits, especially now during the worst drought in 40 years in the Horn of Africa and the fire tragedy three months ago of the Waheen Market in Hargeisa that affected thousands of traders in Somaliland,” he said

For Dahabshiil, he said, solidarity means everything is possible for all, including to all customers, women, minority groups, and people living with a disability.

“By giving them access to finance, we create jobs and opportunities for everybody in society. With Solidarity, everybody can win.”

One of the festival’s unique offerings is the “country focus” where those who attend get the opportunity to meet writers, poets, scholars, and other personalities from the featured country.

Some of the countries that have been honoured before are Ethiopia, Egypt, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.

For 2022, the country focus is West African nation Senegal, which is known as one of the leading literary powerhouses in that part of the continent.

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