Thousands of visitors and book lovers are expected to throng the National Museum grounds today June 6, 2016, for the last day of Yaounde International Book Fair after curtains were officially drawn yesterday with a cultural evening. From June 2 to 6, 2016, over 10,000 visitors were expected for the second edition organised under the auspices of the Head of State, Paul Biya, by the Ministry of Arts and Culture on the theme: “Books As Vectors of Integration and Development.”
Dwelling on this theme during the opening of the Yaounde International Book Fair on June 3, 2016, the Personal Representative of the Head of State, Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, disclosed that government did not only seek to enable the growth of a more dynamic and booming book industry, but also to encourage access to reading by more youth. This is in line with objectives set by the country’s vision to attain emergence by 2035.
“I instruct all book professionals to spare no effort in redynamising the sector,” he disclosed, expressing hope that the Book Fair would be a launch-pad for a common strategy involving government, private sector stakeholders and development partners. Speaking earlier, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, established the link between economic prosperity and a vibrant book sector.
A guided tour by Philemon Yang and guests around the Book Fair grounds revealed over 100 exhibitors, including writers, printers and publishers, amongst others, occupying 75 stands. Renowned authors such as Calixte Beyala and Gaston Kelman were participants in the event which also paid homage to emblematic writers, notably, Sultan Ibrahim Njoya (1860-1933), Bernard Fonlon (1924-1986), Mongo Beti (1932-2001), Ferdinand Léopold Oyono (1929-2010) and Francis Bebey (1929-2001). Their giant effigies throned over the grounds of the building which was the former Presidential Palace until its transformation into National Museum in 1988.