Gothenburg Book Fair Organizers on preparatory visit to South Africa 13-18 November

South Africa announced as the Guest of Honour and focus country for the 2020 Gothenburg Book Fair in Sweden The Gothenburg Book Fair, hosted annually since 1985, is Scandinavia's largest cultural event with 85 000 visitors every year.

During the announcement, the Gothenburg Book Fair Director Ms Frida Edman commented, "The choice of South Africa is very much about lifting today's stories from a literary country with eleven official languages, emerging authors, many young poets and a rich culture and heritage."

The Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria is pleased to welcome the visiting delegation from Gothenburg Book Fair this week namely; Program Director Oskar Ekström and program coordinator Elin Hellström who will meet the National Library of South Africa and the Department of Arts and Culture who will be the custodians of South Africa’s participation at next year’s event which will take part in September 2020. The delegation will also meet with a range of other South African counterparts and partners.

Embassy of Pretoria Cultural Counsellor Hedda Krausz Sjögren who is facilitating the delegation’s visit remarked ”We are steadily increasing South African and Swedish collaborations in the cultural and creative sectors and look forward to being a part of showcasing South Africa's rich literary heritage in Sweden. This partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Library of South Africa is a wonderful opportunity for South Africa and for all of us who are building on and developing further all of the rich partnerships that exist between our two countries."

The announcement was made at the closing of the 2019 Book Fair in September which saw 120 international authors in attendance. 

Director-General of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize was at the announcement ceremony to accept the honour.  “On behalf of the South African Government, we are honoured to be the country of focus for the Gothenburg Book Fair 2020.  We embrace this wonderful opportunity to introduce our Rainbow Nation to you. To share with you our languages, writers, artists, storytellers, rich culture and heritage.  The Gothenburg Book Fair 2020, will therefore be a celebration of South Africa’s remarkable literary talent, a platform to initiate dialogue, celebrate our literary works and promote skills development, social cohesion and tolerance.”

The Department of Arts and Culture released the following statement about the Goteborg Book Fair.

The South African Book Fair hailed the announcement calling it “an important move in our stories being honoured, celebrated and shared.”



For further information and interview requests, please contact the following people:

Embassy of Sweden, Pretoria

Sara Chitambo, Sweden Promotion and Communications

Office: +27 (0)12 426 6400     Mobile: +27 (78) 403  0325                                 Email:


National Library of South Africa

Ms Jolene Shirley, Director: Communications, Marketing and Stakeholder Relations

Office: +27 (0) 83 465 2476                                  Email:

Last updated 12 Nov 2019, 4.27 PM