Kumasi, Dec. 25, GNA - The Ghana Printers and Paper Converters Association has called for the implementation of the textbooks policy to enhance the printing industry. The Association said the policy would ensure that a greater percentage of textbooks are printed locally with the view to developing the manufacturing capacity of local press houses. The textbook policy which was instituted in 2002, stipulates that the Ghana Book Development Council is to liaise with printers, the Ministry of Education and Sports and other relevant ministries to develop the manufacturing capacity of the local press houses, but the policy has since not been implemented.
Mr Prince Hagan Northern sector Chairman of the Association made the call at an awards night to climax the fourth anniversary celebration of the Association in Kumasi at the weekend. Mr. Braimah Mohammed Osman, a fourth-year student of the Publishing Studies Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who was adjudged the best printing student, was presented with a certificate of honour, whilst nine other press houses in the northern sector of the country were also honoured. Mr Hagan reiterated the need for government to create an enabling environment for the printing industry in the form of lowering of tariffs on imported materials and inputs towards the production of all educational textbooks. He regretted that a bulk of the country's textbooks production were given to foreign companies to print when local press houses had the capacity to carry out the job.
"It is a shame for Ghana to be fuelling other economies by providing employment, improving on their efficiency, experience and economies of scale whilst capacities built locally lay fallow", Mr. Hagan noted. Mr Owusu-Ansah de-Graft Johnson, former Head of the Publishing Studies Department of KNUST, admonished the association to step up efforts at bringing all printers together to establish a vibrant front so as to champion their course. He commended the award winners for being dedicated to the growth of printing industry and cautioned them to strive for excellence no matter the circumstances under which they find themselves.