Accra, The 15th Ghana International Book Fair has opened in Accra with a call on parents to inculcate reading habits in their children by developing interest in reading books themselves.
Dr Margaret Nkrumah, Former Vice President of SOS-Kinderdorf International, who made the call, said parents should give books to their children at a very tender age to whip up their interest as they grow.
She said the digital age has impacted on the way we live, read and every facet of our lives and emphasised on the need to properly document the country’s culture and history.
The four-day event on the theme Books and Culture in the Digital Age is being organised by Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) to create a market-place for publishers, writers, printers, booksellers, librarians and other stakeholders in the industry to interact and foster strong links.
It is also to create a conducive climate through seminars, conferences, symposia, workshops and other competitions where the intellectual potentials in the book industry can find firm roots to grow.
The fair, a flagship event of the Book Industry in Ghana, was first organised in November 1996 to revive the ailing indigenous book industry.
Mr Elliot Agyare, President of GBPA, said the event was characterised with rich arrays of workshops and seminars to help grow their businesses and urged all participants and the public to take advantage of them.
He announced that there would be a special meeting to brainstorm on how to mainstream book sellers into the industry chain.
He said book fairs were very important events held worldwide and Ghana should not be an exemption and called for support for the sector and industry players so that they would continue to develop.
Mr Agyare also called for collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Publishers to raise standards of education in the country.
Nana Kwesi Gyan Apenteng, Chairman of National Media Commission, said it was very important to understand the benefits of books in the development of any country.
He said book publishing was at the centre of the digital economy and called for deep reflection on the theme.
Nana Apenteng, who is also the President of the Ghana Writers Association, announced that the Association would organise a Book Festival on September 21, in Accra.
The Association, he said, had organised similar festivals in the Western and the Upper West Regions, and the next regional festival would be held in the Volta.
Mr Peter S. Dery, Deputy Managing Director of the Heritage Bank, Sponsors of the Fair, said the success of every country depended on how well we inculcate reading of books in our children.
He, therefore, pledged the Bank’s support in that direction.
Mr Yoofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotion Council, said the digital platform had created a bigger platform for the youth to read widely and urged them to take advantage of the positive side of social media to enhance their lots.
He advised the GBPA to turn their challenges into opportunities because without them, ‘nothing happens’, adding, we are actively seeking investment to deepening the industry.
Nana Osei Bonsu, President of Private Enterprise Federation, said the GBPA has a critical role to play in the development of the country’s culture and history.
He blamed inadequacies in the country’s norm and practices on the lack of documentation of the country’s culture and history and urged the Association to bridge that gap.
Publishers’ relevance depends on the government of the day, he said, and urged government to come up with policies gearing towards acquisition of local books for schools.
We cannot continue to depend on foreign publishers since independence till date, he said, and called for government’s support to grow the industry.
Source: Ghana News Agency