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Book publishers call for national book development policy

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The President of the Ghana Publishers Association (GPA), Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, has called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop a National Book Development Policy to guide operators in the industry.

He said the book industry currently lacked a legal framework that spelt out procurement procedures and other initiatives that hopefully would empower people to read and know the importance of books.

Mr Yamoah was speaking at a ceremony to swear in new council members for the association in Accra yesterday.

“Currently, we lack regulations and it is only the Ministry of Education that can take the initiative to get such a document ready,” he said.

Council members

The 11-member council was sworn into office by a magistrate at the Kaneshie District Court, Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway, and it will serve a three-year term.

Present at the ceremony were representatives of publishing companies, including G-Pak Limited, a subsidiary of the Graphic Communications Group Limited; Adaex Educational Publications and Afram Publications Ghana Limited.

The GPA President also urged the MoE to develop national strategies regarding books and the development of libraries, provide guidelines for the promotion of books in indigenous languages, develop a strategy to promote books as an export resource and revenue generation outlet, among others.

He advised the ministry to intensify its engagements with the association, which he described as an integral part of the educational architecture of the country.

Mr Yamoah said the world of publishing had evolved in recent times and urged publishers in Ghana to embrace new trends in the industry in order not to be left behind.

Effective regulation

He expressed regret over the fact that the Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC) and the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) both lacked a well-defined role and a strong legal foundation to guide their operations.

“The GBDC has a pending bill that is yet to be considered and passed into law to enable it to play its expected role in the industry, and even though NaCCA is catered for under the Education Act 2008, its mandate and regulatory role has not been well defined in the act.

We believe a further review will help situate NaCCA as a regulatory authority,” he said.

“Our businesses are affected by the way these institutions operate.

It is important, therefore, that we engage actively for a mutually beneficial relationship to create confidence and security for the industry,” he added.

Suggestion for the industry

Mr Yamoah urged members of the GPA to intensify their business advocacy skills and invest in upgrading infrastructure in their companies.

Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway advised the GPA to desist from politicising its operations, saying doing that would hinder its efforts at contributing to the delivery of quality education in the country.

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