Gambia Participating in the 2023 London Book Fair

Amir Yahya Sillah

By Foday Manneh

The Gambia, represented by prominent writer and publisher Amir Yahya Sillah, is attending the 2023 London Book Fair in England, United Kingdom.

The International book fair, which started and runs from April 18 to 20, 2023, is the most popular fair in the world that brings together about 25,000 professionals in the book industry annually.

Sillah at the London book fair

The book fair gives an opportunity to publishers, booksellers, libraries, book distributors, and literary agents to negotiate content rights, exchanges ideas, and as well as to sell their content to a larger market across the globe.

The Gambia’s representative to the London Book Fair, Amir Yahya Sillah, Suba Kunda Book Shop proprietor, shared his motivation and experience going into this year’s book fair.

“I had a very positive experience at the 2018 London Book Fair. I realized companies, not individuals, brought 99% of the books exhibited at that trade fair. So I decided to start the Suba Kunda Book Shop,” Amir recalled.

“Suba Kunda” stands for “Sutukung Barrow Kunda,” representing my father’s and mother’s villages. The company was a big thing in the Gambia, empowering Gambian writers by publishing their books in international standard,” he added.

Mr. Sillah said the event would offer Gambian books the rare opportunity to be exhibited and sold to the world market.

Suba Kunda Publishing stand at the London Book Fair.

“We are exhibiting many books at the book fair, and we have four expectations to leave with from this exhibition,” Amir told TAT.

“We are looking for an opportunity for International translators to translate Gambian books into Arabic, French, Spain, Hindu, and Chinese. We also want to win mega contracts in writing on specific subjects and distribute our books to the large market worldwide.”

“We also want to ensure that our books are acted into movies. We want to see the stories from Africa written in words and also put into movies. We can achieve that with the London Book Fair,” he added.

The prominent writer also revealed that their next target is to participate in the Frankfurt Book Fair later this year which is the most important book fair in the world.

On the side of the London Book Fair, Amir Yahya Sillah has also been invited by Cambridge University in the UK to serve as a guest panelist in its “Africa Together Conference” set for 12 to May 14, 2023.

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