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07.07.2004 General News

Fifth Ghana International Book Fair Launched

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Accra, July 7, GNA - The Fifth Ghana International Book Fair to highlight the country's strength in book production was launched in Accra on Wednesday with a call on publishers to ensure that African books penetrated the markets of developed economies.

Mr Joe Donkor, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, who made the call, said publishers and booksellers should endeavour to promote their books beyond the shores of Ghana to earn enough foreign exchange to boost the development of the book industry.

He, therefore, asked publishers and booksellers to take advantage of workshops, which would run alongside the fair to equip themselves with skills that would enable them to sell their books outside Ghana.

The Deputy Minister expressed the hope that the fair to be held between November 9 and November 14 would highlight the improvements in book publishing technology as well as show strides that the country had made in the area of e-books development. Mr Joe Donkor said to ensure that textboo ks used in the basic schools were written and published by Ghanaians; the Ministry was working with publishers to produce textbooks for the primary and junior secondary schools.

"The submissions for the junior secondary schools have been done and plans are under way to call for submissions for the primary school level," he said.

He pledged 40 million cedis as the Ministry's support for the organisation of the fair.

Mrs Akoss Ofori-Mensah, Chairperson, Ghana International Book Fair Trust, said apart from display and selling of books, there would be a national reading competition for basic school pupils and international workshops to sharpen the skills of all stakeholders in the book industry.

The Book fair was instituted in the early 1990s to revive the book industry and stimulate writers to produce more works for publication. This year's book fair is on the theme: "Strengthening the Book Chain for International Cooperation," is expected to attract participants from France, Canada, India and Nigeria.

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