The Planning Committee for the Ghana International Book Fair (GIBF) has postponed the 18th edition of the fair from the initial date of August 27–30, 2020 to August 26–29, 2021 due to the global pandemic.
The Committee said it considered the current circumstances regarding the pandemic and its devastating effects on life, health and the economy of all sectors.
A statement signed by Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, the Chairman of the Ghana International Book Fair, said the decision was made after a meeting held on Monday, April 27.
The statement said human health was a priority and that upon critical assessment of the situation, the outbreak of the disease would have adverse effects on the success of the book fair should it be held on the original date.
“We have, therefore, taken the difficult decision to wait for no further but act now to enable both indigenous and international exhibitors and visitors as well as the general public to rethink their plans,” it said.
The statement said when the disease is fully contained and all restrictions on social gatherings are lifted by the government, the Committee intends to organise a National Book Exhibition in Accra and two other satellite regional book fairs in Kumasi and Koforidua within the last quarter of the year.
This, the Committee believes, would give Ghanaians the opportunity to buy new textbooks for KG to Primary 6, SHS textbooks and supplementary readers for all levels.
The statement said the date for these regional book fairs would be announced later.
It urged the Government and all the global institutions that are leading efforts to stem the pandemic to continue their vigorous programmes to save lives and ensure that the basic economic conditions were not eroded.
It also urged all to follow the laid down protocols announced by the government to ensure that all citizens stayed healthy and safe.
The Ghana International Book Fair is an annual event organised to celebrate the rich Ghanaian culture through books.
The main goal behind organising the Book Fair is to bring together all book industry players (both local and international) including publishers, editors, authors/ writers, designers, illustrators, printers, librarians, booksellers, students, teachers and a host of allied organisations, to showcase innovations that have occurred in the publishing industry, to share ideas, foster strong links, explore business opportunities and enhance the visibility and recognition of players in the book industry.
The fair aims at exposing readers to a wide array of books and other educational materials, thus creating literacy awareness and inculcating into the general public especially children and young adults reading and writing habits through impactful reading programmes held annually.