UNESCO, IPA, the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) grant the title of World Book Capital to one city. We’re delighted to announce that the 2017 award goes to a very deserving candidate: Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

In Guinea, as in many developing countries, books and other printed materials remain a rare commodity. School is often the only place where children come into contact with reading materials. The book industry is modest: there are only twenty publishers with a publication of about fifty titles a year.

Many factors work against the development of a strong reading culture: low household incomes, low literacy rates, especially for girls, a weak library system and a fragile book industry. Despite this, Guineans have a huge appetite for books and education. The country has a rich culture, in particular a love of stories.

Guinea’s government recognises that education and reading for pleasure are the drivers of change and social progress, but this cannot be achieved without the diffusion of books to the widest possible public. Conakry’s tenure as World Book Capital City will go a long way to delivering this. A rich, year-long programme of activities will mobilise authors, publishers, teachers, librarians to develop and energize the reading culture, particularly among children, awakening them to the creativity and originality of Africa’s writers, storytellers and artists.


Guinea’s book industry will benefit from improved infrastructure and access to books, from higher literacy and from a stronger reading culture in schools, libraries, institutions and among the general public.

Conakry’s preparations for World Book Capital City 2017 are being coordinated and led by Sansy Kaba Diakite, Director of the publishing firm L’Harmattan Guinée and President of Guinée Culture.

We hope publishers and publisher associations from around the world will participate in what should be a wonderful year of culture. For more details, contact secretariat@internationalpublishers.org.