Prof Atukwei Okai, Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, Ebo Donkoh, Ohui Allotey Agbenyega, Dorothy Ajubi, McAsante and Addison. On the extreme right is the Deputy CEO of Heritage Bank. Photo/Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng

Prof Atukwei Okai, Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, Ebo Donkoh, Ohui Allotey Agbenyega, Dorothy Ajubi, McAsante and Addison. On the extreme right is the Deputy CEO of Heritage Bank. Photo/Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng

The Ghana International Book Fair 2017 was hosted at the Accra International Conference Centre from August 24-27. The festival theme was “Books and Culture in the Digital Age.”

The Ghana International Book Fair is a platform where both local and international book industry players come together to trade books and negotiate deals. The public gets the opportunity to have access to a variety of good books and buy them at highly discounted prices.

The first Ghana International Book Fair was held in 1996 to revive the book industry in Ghana which was at its lowest ebb due to serious economic recession of the late 70s and 80s. The fair was hosted biannually until 2008 when the fair became an annual event with the Ghana Book Publishers Association as the lead organiser.

This year’s edition of the festival which was its 15th happened from 24th – 27th August, 2017 at the Accra International Conference Centre. The event was supported by Heritage Bank, Ghana Culture Forum, International Book Bank, Bost, Nutech Print Services India, Kofi Annan ICT Centre, Type, Frontiers Printing and Publishing, Wreno Limited, and Madam Flavour Kitchen.

The fair brought together the players in the book industry and the education sector including the Ministry of Education, Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC), Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA), Ghana Association of Writers (GAW), Ghana Printers and Paper Converters Association (GPPCA), Ghana Library Authority, and Ghana Library Association.

Action at the Ghana International Book Fair 2017

Action at the Ghana International Book Fair 2017

It was to be memorable festival with book readers of all ages milling around the conference centre and buying books and getting knowledge from the assembled speakers.

There were several workshops and seminars for those who attended the fair. The “Books and culture in the digital age” which was the festival theme was a seminar ran by Bonny Uba the MD of Focus IT services. There was also symposium on the use of mother tongue as a medium of instruction in lower primary while the International Book Bank’s Brian O’Donnell also led a rights and licensing seminar.

Ultimately, this book fair is really a merchant’s affair so people in the publishing industry got together and got to do deals and network. They even had their own events like the “Buyers and sellers get together” as part of the official program unlike in many fairs of this type where this is done on the sidelines.