Produce books on Ghana’s rich cultural heritage —Publishers urged

The Ghana Book Publishers Association has been urged to produce books on the country’s rich cultural heritage.

This, according to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, was the only way to bequeath a befitting legacy to the unborn generation a well-documented history and culture of a country.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said this in a speech read on her behalf at the opening of the 17th Ghana International Book Fair yesterday in Accra.

The event themed: “Reaching the World Market through Effective Book Distribution Networks”, attracted more than 78 exhibitors from across the globe.

Issues to be discussed for the three days include, publishing academic grand awards, inauguration of the Ghana Association of Writers, drama group performance, legendary events, reading with the champions and the recap by the fire side.

Exhibitors include All Good Books, Literate Publications Ghana, Smart line Limited, and Sub Saharan Publishers.

According to the Minister, the country has a publishing industry that has 85 per cent concentration on text book, but what was more frustrating and a worrying move was the absence of books on the country’s culture and heritage.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi stated that the documentation of the country’s history and culture was critical to the future of the country, adding that “the publishing climate was always presumed a business and very frustrating and worrying because books on our heritage and culture could not be found.”

“Great nations become great because they feed the world with their indigenous culture through the creative industry such as movies, music and books,” she said.

The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Professor Stephen Adei, said the children who are the future leaders of the country must be assisted to become literates before the age of six.

That, he explained, would enable the country benefit from the human resource it has trained since infancy through the acquisition of skills.

Prof. Adei charged publishers to double their efforts towards producing books that would be beneficial to all literate children.

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Accra, Alhaji Mohammed Adjei Sowah pledged to work with the organisers of the fair to make Accra the centre of culture and arts on the continent.

The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Country Director, Mr Abdourahamane Diallo urged children to value the need for books because reading was important to develop the human mind.

“The world has become a challenge and all new reading methods must be used to allow the learners value the importance of books,” he added.

The President of the Ghana Printers and Paper Converters, Mr Elliot Agyare urged stakeholders to collaborate to address the poor reading habit that confront the country.

“It was very crucial to create a culture of reading not only in schools but in every community because a wholly literate community provide the surest means available for the establishment of a truly democratic society within a stable and functional environment,” he said.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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