WITH the vast majority of people ignoring books on the African scene, book publishers and sellers have decided to discuss better means of selling their product, reports Joan Mugenzi.
people in the book industry from Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, UK and Uganda opened a four-day seminar at Hotel Equatoria on Friday, with the aim of discussing books for development.
The theme of the workshop is â€œBringing key stakeholders in the book chain together.â€ The participants include booksellers, publishers and librarians.
James Tumusiime, the chairperson of the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) said we cannot ignore books with the trend of development.
â€œPerhaps nowhere in Africa have efforts paid off as well as in Uganda.
When words like democratisation, decentralisation, Universal Primary Education and globalisation formed part of our vocabulary, there was no industry to back it up,â€ Tumusiime said.
He said Uganda went in full swing to struggle and get into books and right now, there are 20 publishing houses, over 100 book sellers and a number of libraries are coming up in schools.
However, a participant from Ghana was not impressed with the stock. â€œI visited Mukono Bookshop and all I saw were books from Cambridge and Oxford.
I look forward to a time when I will walk into an African bookshop and find books from Ghana, Zambia and any other part of Africa,â€ he said.
But as these people meet, Leticia Mabunu, a mother of a P6 child at Joy Primary School said not all stakeholders were invited. â€œI am happy that they are meeting to discuss books, but as a parent I do not benefit. They should have all of us on board. They have not invited all the stakeholders,â€ Mabunu said.
The workshop was organised by NABOTU, Book Aid International, African Publishers Network (APNET), the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the Publishers and Booksellers Association (PABA) and Rockefeller Foundation.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Mr. Kakima Ntambi, represented gender minister Zoe Bakoko Bakoru. Ends
African Book Publishers, Sellers Chart New Ways