An international book fair dubbed: “Ghana: A nation of readers for development”, opened in Accra yesterday.
More than 60 local and international publishers and companies are taking part in the four-day fair, which is being held under the auspices of the Ghana Publishers Association and the Ghana International Book Fair (GIBF) Secretariat.
The fair, which is the 18th to be held, is a one-stop shop for all educational needs and is expected to attract schoolchildren, educational institutions across the country, as well as stakeholders in the publishing industry.
This year’s fair will feature literacy and reading programmes for pupils and students, workshops for book industry players and an event — the 18th GIBF Personality of the Year — to honour
Mr Kojo Yankah, a communications consultant and Founder of the African University College of Communications (AUCC).
In attendance at the opening of the fair were the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful; the President of the Ghana
Printers and Paper Converters
Association, Mr James Appiah Berko; the Secretary-General of the Pan-African Writers Association, Dr Wale Okediran; the President of the Ghana Association of Writers, Mr Francis Gbormittah, among other dignitaries.
The Chairman of the 18th GIBF, Mr Asare Konadu Yemoah, underscored the need for writers and other stakeholders in the publishing industry to leverage the opportunities created by new technology to expand their reach.
Mr Yemoah explained that the purpose of the fair was to promote culture and creativity, particularly in the book industry, as well as offer the country and the world a platform to seek understanding of the diversity and harmony of Ghana’s culture through books.
He said it was also a platform for the exchange of cultural ideas and cooperation between publishers in the country and their international counterparts.
According to him, the fair had, over the years, contributed to the discovery and development of talents.
Mr Yemoah said literacy had become one of the challenges on the continent, despite effort sat attaining improvement in the sector, adding: “We seem to have lost touch with the surrounding realities and that is why we are witnessing a decline in the quality of our education and culture.”
He said although the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had affected publishing activities and businesses significantly, “there have been some creative interventions that have opened other business opportunities hitherto not explored, such as the sale of eBooks”.
For his part, the Country Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr Diallo Abdourahamane, said his outfit would continue to advocate access to books to ensure that people read more.
He also expressed delight over Ghana’s decision to vie for Accra to become a UNESCO World Book Capital City in 2023.