The Cape Town Book Fair started through a joint venture between the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Ausstellungs- und Messe GmbH (Frankfurt Book Fair). It was established in 2006 to harness the momentum created by the Harare Book Fair and create another book fair that would fill the gap left by the discontinuation of the Harare Book Fair. It proved to be the right decision because since then the Cape Town Book Fair has become a hugely popular book fair for the general public.

Previously an annual event, in 2011 organisers, the Publishers’ Association of South Africa, announced that the Cape Town Book Fair would become a biennial event, starting in 2012. Over the past seven years, the Cape Town Book Fair has established itself as the best platform for the literary world to gather and trade in the business of publishing.

In 2010, the Cape Town Book Fair attracted 273 exhibitors and in excess of 33,000 visitors. After an almost two-year absence, The Cape Town Book Fair is back – remodelled and set to impress with organisers confident that this year’s Fair will far outdo expectations: they’re anticipating an exciting mix of representatives from the African, Arab and Asian publishing worlds.

This year the Cape Town Book Fair will coincide with the 29th International Publishers’ Association (IPA) Congress. The IPA Congress attracts between 600 and 1000 delegates while the speakers at the congress are top professionals and policy makers in the book sector. This means that the Fair will be enhanced with a decidedly international flavour of the who’s who in the publishing world.

High profile congress delegates and speakers who will be participating in the Book Fair’s programme will no doubt share interesting and unique insights, creating an opportunity to network with global leaders in the publishing world.

According to Brian Wafawarowa, Executive Director of the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA), the value of the 29th IPA Congress being held in Cape Town is enormous. “It will be the first time that the Congress is being held in Africa in over 100 years.”

“The 29th IPA Congress will start on the 12th and end on the 14th of June 2012 while the Book Fair will start on the 15th and end on the 17th of June 2012. The spill-over effect for the Cape Town Book Fair promises to make it the best attended Book Fair ever.