The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) exhibited its knowledge products at the just ended 33rd edition of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) that took place at the Harare gardens between 27 to 30 July 2016. The theme for this year’s book fair was “Igniting Interest in Reading for Sustainable Development”.
ACBF was among over fifty exhibitors from Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond that showcased their knowledge products and services at the book fair.The book fair was attended by stakeholders in the book industry that included authors, writers, librarians, information and knowledge management professionals, publishers, booksellers, lecturers, teachers, artists, school children, university and college students, representatives from the civil society, United Nations, international organizations, Non-governmental organizations, government, the private sector and the public. Some of the participates at this year’s book fair came from Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria , India among other countries.
The book fair was officially opened by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr. Lazarus Dokora, who toured exhibition stands and was greatly impressed by high level quality and relevance of ACBF Knowledge products particularly the flagship publication: The Africa Capacity Reports. ACBF knowledge products generated a lot of interest among the visitors especially the university librarians who were able to collect some publications for their institutions. Among the over 200 visitors who expressed interest to be placed on the ACBF mailing list to receive alerts for new publications were the representatives from the Nairobi based Library of Congress, The World Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness Unit, the African Forum and Network work on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), and The British Council. A total of 880 ACBF publications were distributed at the book fair.
In his official opening remarks, Minister Dokora pointed out that “the potential for job creation through a vibrant book industry deserves a special focus”. He pointed out that the success of a people is measured by their ability to access and utilise informational resources that will eliminate poverty and promote development. It is against this background that information professionals as well as the book industry was urged to step-up their critical role of making information for development readily available and easily accessible to all. This was supported by Mr. Jasper Maenzanise, the ZIBF Board Member, who highlighted that libraries are positioned at the centre of development for Zimbabwe, Africa, and the world as they play a pivotal role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).