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Far-reaching changes to parliament planned
Njabulo Ncube , Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe)
August 13, 2004

A total of 29 384 people passed through the ZIBF gates during the week long Book Fair. PARTICIPANTS and visitors at the 2004 edition of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) have described the event, which ended last Saturday, as a major success.

Senator Delano Franklyn, the Jamaican Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade officially opened the Book Fair this year. He described the Fair as a big success adding that it had come as a challenge to the Caribbean delegation to establish a Book Fair in their region.

"I believe the Book Fair has been a success in terms of stands, the nature of organization, contacts and number of visitors," Senator Franklyn told Journalists during a media briefing held at the ZIBF grounds.

He said he hoped that countries in the Caribbean would take a cue from ZIBF to organise similar exhibitions in their own countries. "As we speak, the Caribbean is the only region in the world that does not have an international book fair," Senator Franklyn said. "I hope the success of the ZIBF will act as an impetus to urge us to organise an international book fair. I am prepared to do what I can to organise such a book fair."

"This year has been a success and I am sure those who have been following the Book Fair in the last few years will agree with me," said Mr Dakarai Mashava of Consumers International.

"We have been getting people coming in their numbers to make inquiries and flip through some of our publications. We have also managed to establish a number of contacts." Mr Wycliffe Khavuchi, the sales and marketing manager at East African Educational Publishers in Kenya said: "This year has been a great improvement from last year. We have made contacts and now we know who can buy our books. What is now needed is for us to make follow-ups."

A record 450 stands were booked at the ZIBF this year, surpassing ZIBF’s record of 375 stands booked in 1999. The figure is more than a double jump from last year when only 175 stands were taken up.

ZIBF 2004 whose theme is "Voices – Dialogue Across Nations," attracted exhibitors, participants and traders from Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Nepal, India, Trinidad, Guyana, United Kingdom, United States, Norway, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and Sweden among other countries.

The Indaba, a scholarly symposium which prefaces the ZIBF, was held under the theme "African Studies in and Outside Africa." Among those who made the line-up of speakers at the Indaba are world-acclaimed Jamaican dub-poet Mutabaruka, Zimbabwe’s Professors George Kahari, Rukudzo Murapa, Walter Kamba, Dr Hope Sadza, and Dr Vimbai Chivaura, Profs Terence Ranger (UK), Helge Ronning (Norway), Miguel Lorne (Jamaica), Ian Randle (Jamaica), Mai Palmberg, Yinka Lawal-Solarin(Nigeria) and Flora Veit-Wild (Germany).

The Fair also saw ZIBF unveiling a list of Zimbabwe’s 75 Best Books of the Century. ZIBF Executive Director, Mr. Samuel Matsangaise said this morning: "I think the event as a whole has been a success. This is also the response I have been getting from participants I have spoken to and we would like to thank our board of trustees, the dedicated and diligent staff at the ZIBF office, our corporate partners and all stakeholders for their support."

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