Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer, Association of Ghana Industries, has called for the building an effective stakeholder engagement to address the needs of the Ghanaian Publishing Industry.

He said the publishing industry is bedeviled with many of challenges which affects members, hence the need to forge strong relationship with all constituents to strengthen advocacy works.

He cited how some members have been hit hard by the change of the curriculum for basic schools, effective 2019/2020 academic year, leading to an accumulation of old stock of textbooks in warehouses from publishers costing GHC15 million.

Speaking at the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) in Accra, he said “we also occasionally hear your members are not given adequate time to produce quality textbooks to meet the dynamic nature of our educational system as well as the influx of unwholesome reading materials imported in the country”.

Mr Akwaboah called for the need the address all these challenges to further secure and promote their businesses, saying “as an association, the onus rests on you to ensure that government creates that enabling environment for your members to grow their businesses”.

He said evidence-based advocacy thrives on numbers and it is important to have several followers, yet a common voice in putting across your views to policy makers.

The theme for the 43rd AGM is: “Building on Effective Stakeholder Engagement for the Advancement of the Ghanaian Publishing Industry”.

Mr Akwaboah said “I can imagine the impact this Association will make if you forge strong alliances to enforce strict compliance of the Textbook Development and Distribution Policy”.

Mr Elliot Agyare, the immediate past President of GPA, since its inception in 1976, the association has contributed to the development of books, education, culture and the country as a whole.

He announced that on November 8, 2019 the name of the Association was changed from Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) to Ghana Publishers Association to harmonise with trends all over the world as well as to expand the scope of the organization to include the publication of serials which constitute journals and magazines.

“It is also to include the other formats of books including online platforms or website that deal with books or journals, among others,” he said, adding that the decision was in tandem with international conventions and also in line with the primary purpose of publishing which is to educate, inform and entertain.

Mr Agyare said the industry was standing at a critical nexus, faced with the immense challenges of a fast-changing industry but an existential threat to its very future from internal and external factors.

“It is important to rethink how we do what we do because whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not, our industry is being changed beyond recognition”.

“What used to be a traditionally stable, predictable industry is being disrupted by forces beyond our control. Bloggers are publishing, writers are publishing, and everyone can actually become a publisher. The entry standards have been lowered and there is traditional protection anymore.”

He also called for unity among members, adding “we as in industry should also do our part. Without unity amongst us, we will achieve very little…”

Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Chairman of the Media Commission, who chaired the occasion, said investment in education was the best one could make and stressed the need for all stakeholders to encourage people to read.

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