That the writing industry is one of the major areas of boosting the revenue generation for the economy of a country cannot be denied by any sincere authoritative economist.
It is in the light of this fact, that the Ghana book or writing industry must be assessed with the view of finding out whether it is viable and vibrant for the boosting of Ghana’s economy at the present time in Ghana’s developmental process.
It is a fact that Ghana’s older generation of eminent and distinguished writers of world renown such as Efua Sutherland, Joe De Graft, Ama Atta Aidoo, Asiedu Yirenkyi, Bill Marshall, Mohammed Abdallah, Kofi Anyidoho, Martin Owusu etc. have by their works contributed significantly to the development of the book industry in Ghana.
Besides these distinguished Ghanaian writers of the older generation, there are new emerging ones who are making efforts by their works to enhance Ghana’s book industry viability and vibrancy to benefit Ghana’s economy at the present time.
In my opinion as a literary critic, I believe that the Ghana book industry at the present time which incorporates the E Book system on the internet has come of age which needs a great transformation by way of investment to enhance its viability and vibrancy for the boosting of Ghana’s economy.
And for this reason, I think the government must involve itself fully in the form of offering financial assistance to organisations such as the Ghana Book Development Council, Ghana Association of Writers (GAW), the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Tthe Ghana Publishers Association, Ghana Photocopy Association and other allied organisations to the Ghana Book Development Council.
This will go a long way to motivate and to inspire the new generation of Ghanaian writers to write prolifically to promote and enhance the book industry to benefit the growth of Ghana’s economy.
As a fast developing African country in the world today, Ghana must give priority attention to the Ghana writing industry as other businesses in the country for the growth and buoyancy of her economy.
And Ghanaian writers of both the older and new generation must be honoured, acknowledged and held in high esteem for their great contributions to the development of Ghana. For writers are great assets, and are like prophets or seers to their nations; and no nation on earth in the past, present or the future can dispense with her writers.
Audience awareness in the Ghanaian situation is a major militating factor against the book development industry.
And for this reason, the poor audience situation must be raised to a very high level for the enhancement of the book industry. Educated Ghanaians must develop the culture of reading extensively. Both the lowly and highly educated Ghanaians must not read only for a purpose, but they must develop the habit of reading extensively as a past time or pleasure.
The Ghana Education service must emphasise on its curricula, supplementary reading besides the reading of textbooks, for the passing of prescribed examinations at the basic and the secondary levels of the education ladder.
This will go a long way on the stepping up of poor audience awareness in the Ghanaian society; and this in turn will help boost the writing or book industry in Ghana.
Like other Africans, Ghanaians do not read voraciously like Euro-Americans; and this is one of the major negative factors accounting for lack of progress; and under development of the African continent today.
As Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Reading maketh a man”, Ghanaians must develop the culture of reading extensively as a means of acquiring knowledge and enlightenment to help in the developmental process of the country.
Wide or extensive reading habit among Europeans is responsible for highly developed levels of European countries.
And Ghanaians must try to develop this kind of reading habit; so that Ghana can experience an accelerated development momentum.
Ghana is renowned to have a very high literacy rate in Africa; and so, educated Ghanaians must cultivate a high culture of reading habit. This attitude will contribute in no small way to enhance audience awareness to inspire Ghanaian writers to write prolifically to boost the Ghana book industry to enhance Ghana’s economy.
The publication level in Ghana must be raised to an appreciated level to enable works of Ghanaian writers to be published.
And Ghanaian writers must work very hard to promote their skills and quality in order to enhance the marketability of their published works.
In conclusion, I have optimism for the potential of the Ghana Book Industry; and I believe that Ghanaian writers of the younger generation will live up to expectation and work very hard as their senior predecessors had done by their works, in order to boost the Ghana Book Industry and for that matter, Ghana’s economy.
For the Ghana Book Industry is a great asset to Ghana’s economic growth; and Ghanaian writers are highly indispensable in the developmental process of the country by their published works.
BY MICHAEL AKENOO