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Book and Reading policy in the offing

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
Ernesticia Lartey Asuinura (left), Executive Director of the Ghana Book Development Council, addressing the participants at the engagement in Accra.Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Ernesticia Lartey Asuinura (left), Executive Director of the Ghana Book Development Council, addressing the participants at the engagement in Accra.Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

A Book and Reading policy is in the offing to address the needs of the country’s book industry and promote reading among the public.

The policy, which is at the draft stage and being spearheaded by the Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC), is expected to address pertinent issues, such as copyright, matters of professionalism, among others, for a vibrant and sustainable industry that adequately contributes to the development of the country.

In view of that, the council has commenced stakeholder engagements to seek inputs into the policy, which is expected to be ready by December 2022.

Stakeholder engagement

Last Friday, one of such engagements was held in Accra, at which representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the Ghana Institute of Languages, the National Development Planning Commission, the Bureau of Ghana Languages, the Ghana Library Board, the Ghana Publishers Association, among others, were in attendance.

Speaking with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of the event, the Executive Director of the GBDC, Ernesticia Lartey Asuinura, said over the years, there had been attempts by successive governments to develop a vibrant domestic book industry to serve the needs of the country.

She said the goal of the policy was to develop the book industry to promote indigenous authorship and publishing of all genre of books and also ensure an efficient system for book production and distribution.

Additionally, she said, it would strengthen coordination and collaboration among stakeholders, enhance human capacity, promote the habit of reading and support the establishment and growth of libraries at all levels.

Marketing

Ms Asuinura mentioned another issue the policy would address as marketing the creative works of authors, which presently received low publicity.

She added that under the policy, books produced would go to end users, including the remotest places.

“When a book is produced, it must not just end up on the shelves but get to end users, and this policy will ensure that measures are put in place to actualise that vision,” the Executive Director added.