A three-day book fair has opened in Kumasi with a call for strong copyright regime to prevent the loss of substantial revenue by book publishers.
Dr. Samuel Osafo Acquaah, a former President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA), identified this as major factor hampering the full realization of the industry’s potential.
The fair is being organized jointly by the GBPA and the Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC) and the goal is to stimulate interest in reading, especially, by students.
It comes ahead of the Ghana International Book Fair to be held in Accra in August, and meant to provide the opportunity for everybody to buy books at discounted prices.
On the sidelines is a workshop on “Book industry standards” and that would bring together writers, publishers, book sellers, students, teachers and the general public.
Dr. Acquaah said the nation had not been able to appreciate the actual contribution of the publishing industry to its socio-economic growth and development process because of “inadequate awareness of copyright, piracy and ineffective right manage collection system”.
“With the rapid globalization and growth of digital media, an effective copyright regime coupled with an effective and efficient enforcement strategy is the essential underpinning of a country’s participation in the global information economy”, he added.
He used the occasion to underline the need for all to take to reading and said that was the way forward to avoid being left behind by globalization.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 774 million adults lacked literacy skills.
Mrs. Aba Brew-Hammond, Head of Department of the Publishing Studies, KNUST, encouraged students to adopt the habit of reading to broaden their knowledge.