The Chief Advisor to the President, Mrs Mary Chinery Hesse has urged Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of reading since the economic and social health of every nation depends on building literate citizenry who can read widely for both practical purposes and for pleasure.
This she said will highly promote education which is among the principal strategies for reducing poverty in Ghana.
Speaking at the opening of the 7th Ghana International Book Fair yesterday in Accra, Mrs Chinery Hesse stated that reading is an irreplaceable activity in the developing of productive and active adults.
She therefore encouraged parents to be a part of inculcating the reading habit into their children by limiting their television viewing time and rather give them books to read.
According to her the indigenous publishing industry in Ghana is of central importance to the cultural, intellectual and educational life of Ghana, adding that 'books play a very central role in the delivery of education at all levels, and it is important that they reflect our cultural setting. '
She expressed the need for reading to be encouraged in as many languages as possible, 'since our local languages provide insight into our indigenous and rich culture'.
She called on all stakeholders to support the efforts that government has made to launch the National Book Policy.
The Assistant Director of Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Mr P.A.K. Danyo encouraged writers and publishers to share ideas as they showcase their accomplishments and write attractively in order to get the attention of readers.
The World Bank Country Director, Mr Ishac Diwan also challenged publishers to make existing books appealing and available to all and sundry.