25.03.2004 General News

Minister urge scholars to write books

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Accra, Mar. 25, GNA - Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State-In-Charge of Tertiary Education, has urged Ghanaian scholars to put their knowledge and experiences into writing for the benefit of the younger generation.

She noted that Ghanaian scholars were not writing enough, saying that in Lagos at least 10 new books were launched every weekend, but in Ghana it usually took months and sometime years before one heard of a book launch.

"I am aware that most Ghanaian scholars are discouraged by the thought that when they write, their ideas and perspectives may be subjected to scrutiny by other scholars and persons with different ideas and perspectives, but that would only generate debate, which is healthy for formulating strategies for national development."

Ms Ohene made the call when she launched a book titled: "Regional Development in Ghana - The Theories and Reality," written by Professor Jacob Songsore, Dean of Professional Studies at the University of Ghana and one time Head of the Geography and National Resource Department of the same University.

She said: "It is sad that most Ghanaian scholars have rich knowledge and experiences regarding the history of this country, but they refuse to write their versions and yet they turn round and pick issues with those who write their versions."

The Minister said the truth about the history of Ghana would come out when all those who had perspectives based on their personal experiences in the course of the country's history, wrote their versions for public consumption.

The 331-page-book, published by Woeli Publishing Services among other things suggested that African countries and Ghana for that matter could only create progressive nation states through integrated development, adding that this called for the politics of inclusion.

In the book, the Author argued that unless democracy was taken beyond the mere establishment of good governance and created institutions to practically and effectively involve the masses in development planning and implementation processes, Ghana would not reap the full benefits of democracy.

The Author uses available data and new data to suggest ways of bridging the inequalities and imbalances in regional development in Ghana.

Ms Ohene was the first to raise questions about some ideas and suggestions in the book, when she noted that it was erroneous for the Author to have suggested that schools in the other regions were less privileged than schools in Accra.

"There is one school next door to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in the Centre of Accra, along the ceremonial road, which is as less privileged as the schools in my village in terms of facilities," she said

She also said the first chapter of the book almost put her off due to the cumbersome and technical nature of the language, adding that the use of simple and clear language in writing such important books was imperative to fostering the culture of reading in the country.

Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who presided, urged the public to encourage writers by patronizing and reading their books.

Prof. Songsore appealed to the Government to support small-scale publishers like Woeli Publishing Service that did do not have big Government contracts to publish textbooks, but were doing well in publishing such research findings as the one launched.

Dr Yaw Graham, Director of the Third World Network and Prof. George Benneh, former Vice Chancellor of the UG, each presented brief reviews of the book and praised the Author for his immense contribution to national development in the areas of Geography and natural resources discovery and development.

Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) bought the first copy of the book for five million cedis, while the second copy was auctioned for three million cedis.

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