African Book Fair

Kenya's Largest Fair of African Books

The African Book Fair by Soma Nami Books is an annual week-long book fair organized by Soma Nami Books, a leading Kenyan Pan-African Cultural and Literary hub. The fair is lauded as Kenya’s largest showcase and fair of African books. The 2023 Fair attracted over 5000 attendees from across East Africa and showcased over 10000 books from over 50 African countries.

The African Book Fair aims to promote African literary art and to spotlight African writers; providing them a platform to make their work visible and engage with readers. The Fair also aims at reinvigorating Kenya’s reading culture.

The Book Fair incorporates a showcase of books from all 54 African countries across multiple genres, author conversations, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, exhibitions, reader-focused engagement sessions, poetry and music.

2023 Book Fair in Numbers

5 Days

10,000 Books

Over 5,000 Attendees

54 African Countries

20 Panelists

8 Exhibitors

3 Library Tours

1 Book Launch

African Book Fair 2024

Following up on the inaugural program, the 2024 edition of the African Book Fair will combine a hybrid Fair-Festival experience encompassing a showcase of African books and a full festival offering of book discussions, public lectures, panel discussions, children’s program, and book sales over a six-day program.

The African Book Fair is anchored on three pillars.

Access – Anchored on SDG 4: Quality Education and Promotion of Lifelong Learning, we promote readership and foster a reading culture among children and adults by centering African stories and making books and literature by Africans accessible and available.

 Community – Informed by SDG 10: Reduce Inequality within and Among countries, we drive inclusive community engagement and cultural exchange. Both the audiences and artists get an opportunity to interact with diverse cultures, works, ideas and talent, fostering inclusion of all regardless of sex, race or ethnicity.

Collaboration – Cemented on SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, we foster synergies through working with various stakeholders, both local and internationals. Partners and stakeholders benefit from various opportunities presented at the fair

Venue - McMillan Memorial Library

Rich History

The McMillan Memoria Library is Kenya’s second oldest library and the only one protected by its own Act of Parliament (McMillan Memorial Library Act). When the library was opened in 1931, Kenya was a racially segregated British colony, and use of the library was restricted to ‘whites only’. Use of this space for the African Book Fair is a reclamation of public spaces previously prohibited to Africans.

Indoor and Outdoor Space

The library remains one of Kenya’s largest libraries and has an expansive indoor space on two levels and outdoor space ideal for exhibitions.

Strategic Location & Accessibility

Situated at the junction of Banda Street and Wabera Street in Nairobi’s Central Business District, the library is strategically located with ease of access

Great Opportunities for Brand Visibility

Due to it’s central location, and availability of both indoor and outdoor spaces, the library provides great opportunity for brand visibility.

Cultural and Literary Centre

The library stands as a cultural and literary centre attracting visitors from across the world from scholars, authors, students and literary enthusiasts.

Core Brand Opportunities

With a projected 10000 person attendance for the African Book Fair, we offer 4 core opportunities to reach the fair audiences.

Author & Programmed Events

Start a conversation with your customers and affiliate yourself with a popular author by sponsoring an author and a literary program. Our target is to invite 6 international authors and 10 local authors to take part in the fair and drive conversations around topical issues.

Indoor & Outdoor Fair

Showcase your brand as an exhibitor at the indoor and outdoor fair right in the heart of Nairobi’s Central Business District. McMillan Memorial Library is strategically located at the junction of Banda St and Wabera Street. Meet thousands of consumers at the indoor and outdoor exhibitor stands. It’s a fantastic opportunities for activation!

Cocktail Reception

The exclusive invitation-only Cocktail kicks off the fair with a bang! The event features an author reception and is the perfect event to connect with notable authors, fair guests, business leaders, cultural innovators, and philanthropists. It’s the perfect place for you to shine, network, and bring clients.

Festival Guide

1000 copies of the fair guide will distributed at the fair over the 5-day period and at key litloving outlets in Nairobi. Fair posters are also circulated across schools and major shopping malls across Nairobi. All print material will carry sponsor logos.

Partnership Benefits

  • Participate in thought leadership by driving conversations on topics that align with your brand
  • Associate your brand with key festival events (panel discussion, interview or keynote)
  • Key opportunity for brand visibility to a large local and international audience
  • Contribute to promoting literacy, lifelong reading for adults and children and a reading culture
  • Facilitate book donations to the McMillan Memorial Library
  • Be a champion for literature by, and for Africans
  • Contribute to the furtherance of SDG 4, 10,and 17

African Book Fair in the Media

The 2023 African Book Fair achieved extensive media coverage, including national newspapers, radio, online and national and international broadcast media

BBC Live Africa

Nation Africa

Capital FM

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Writing Africa

Brittle Paper

Moveee Art New

Sanaa News

Art News Kenya