Publishers warn of 40% increase in book prices

The Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) has called on the government to initiate an engagement with stakeholders to resolve pertinent issues affecting the industry.

According to the Association, the imposition of VAT on imported books as well as other government policies are negatively affecting their businesses.

At a press conference in Accra today, the President of the GPA, Asare Konadu Yamoah urged the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority to engage them as they have some proposals for consideration.

“We have innovative and progressive measures that will improve the business environment in the industry and potentially make Ghana the printing hub of West Africa. If we are all thinking about Ghana, then dialogue and consultations will have to be the anchor of the government’s relationship with business,” Mr Yamoah said.

“Until such conversation is initiated, we have no options but to increase prices of books. Starting from June, prices will go up between 30 to 40 %. This decision was not easy to make considering the difficult challenges businesses and the citizens are faced with. We therefore seek the understanding of Ghanaians as we have to protect our businesses from collapse.”

The Ghana Publishers Association also stated its inability to trust the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) to an independent, transparent regulator.  It therefore demanded that the book assessment and approval role granted NaCCA be withdrawn.

“Parliament must work with industry to find a place to anchor the assessment process. NaCCA should focus on its primary role of developing curriculum for the country and monitor its compliance. We cannot work with an organization that has openly declared its intention to support a particular publisher, encourage the Ministry of Education to produce its own textbooks and use all state power and resources allocated for the implementation of its mandate for such self-serving agenda,” the GPA noted in a statement.

The Association revealed that “the ministry has been unable to pay for textbooks ordered from publishers under the standard based curriculum (totaling about 320,000,000 Ghana cedis) and even that could not satisfy their textbook objective of one child per textbook and has not been able to supply to schools the complete set of required textbooks for all the subjects.”

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