Despite being in operations for over 40 years, the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GPBA) faces several challenges which have hampered the growth of the sector, Dr Samuel Osafo-Acquaah, President of GBPA, has said.
He was speaking to The Finder during a dialogue to bring stakeholders in the publishing sector to deliberate on the topic ‘The challenges facing the Publishing Sector and the way forward.’
He raised issues about the lack of financial support from banks and financial institutions that stemmed from the lack of support from government and its agencies. He added that GBPA have made some book productions for which the payments have delayed, thus compelling the banks to oblige them in several ways.
He said members of the GBPA face as much as 41% in terms of taxes, a situation which compels publishers to print outside the country, a problem that has to do with the inability on the part of government to adhere to problems and concerns facing the association.
“One other challenge is the procurement of educational materials; our first challenge came in 2009. Just after the changeover of government, publishers made huge losses after some of us were asked not to make supplies of productions that we have made to schools,” he added.
He also talked about the establishment of the Ghana Publishers Association as a professional association and the linkage of the book publishing supply chain and the unity and commitment on the part of members.
Dr Osafo-Acquaah mentioned to The Finder that there is the need for an appropriate National Book Policy backed by law, citing examples from their Indian and South African counterparts. He bemoaned the limited market available to the GBPA as well as book pirating and the ineffective copyright laws.
He said the association have ended up in court on two occasions due to financial challenges; he however believes that that will be the last alternative this time around as they are still in dialogue with the government and its agencies.
The GPBA President said the nation cannot gloss over the roles the association plays in areas like the oil and gas industry, mining, trading at the Makola and Melcom levels, to Databank and the Ghana Stock Exchange.
He said though there is a publishing studies department at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), government must help in linking graduates with the GBPA since that can go a long way in creating employment and instilling the interest of publishing in fresh graduates.
Source: The Finder
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