The 16th Ghana International Book Fair is set for August 30 through September 2, and at the launch of the fair preparations this week in Accra the GIBF President, Elliot Agyare, said efforts are underway to make Ghana become the publishing hub of sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the Ghana News Agency, Agyare said
players in the book publishing value-chain were working to create infrastructure to make Ghana join the international centres of book publishing (and he) called on the Government, private sector, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the media to help make the dreams of the Ghana Publishers a reality.
No details yet as to what shape this infrastructure might take, or just how realistic this ambition is to become the hub of sub-Saharan publishing, but rest assured I’ll be trying to find out more.
Ghana, along with Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa, all have the potential to be hubs of the Anglophone sub-Saharan publishing industry, and while Nigeria or South Africa would be the logical front-runners in terms of economic power, Ghana could yet surprise us.
A key element to any play at that level would be digital investment in publishing, and Ghana is well positioned to embark down that road, with over 10 million people connected to the internet, in a country of 29 million.
The idea isn’t new, as this GIBF banner from 2014 shows.
Despite the aspirations of the 2014 GIBF the idea of digital didn’t take off in Ghana, but just perhaps now is the right time to revisit the idea.