East African Book Development Association

Enhancing Literacy for Poverty Eradication

Seminars and Skills Transfer Workshop

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A Case for Book sector development

A local book industry plays a central role in producing teaching and learning materials required for the delivery of education as well as providing access to locally relevant information at the community level. A strong and vibrant local book sector supplies affordable books tailored to the local needs as opposed to the highly priced imported books currently flooding the markets. Locally published books also reflect socio-cultural and economic aspirations of the people including preservation of traditional moral values, management of the environment, prevention and control of disease and wealth creation.

In order to be able to write, publish and distribute such books to the citizenry, book sector practitioners require to work within a supportive policy environment. At present, the sector is strained by high taxation, un-harmonised curricula, rigid textbook approval systems, cumbersome cross-border trade procedures, etc. This myriad of challenges facing the book sector can best be addressed by the formulation and enactment comprehensive book policies to address the problems facing the production and distribution of books.

Additionally, being a relatively young industry with limited markets, book production is therefore a capital intensive occupation and therefore does not attract many investors. Because of its low turnover, governments too have not awarded much attention to its development. For example, there is only one institution for higher learning (Moi University in Kenya) in the region, which offers professional courses in publishing. As a result, a large number of employees are not sufficiently skilled and require continuous tuition.

For this sector to grow desirably, it requires support in the development of its personnel as well as market expansion across the region through readership development and library expansion.

EABDA, in conjunction with its member organizations organizes consultative seminars for stakeholders in the East African countries to discuss the above mentioned issues and share ideas and experiences on how to address and lobby for solutions.

News Updates
01 May, 2011
EABDA launched three new programmes in April 2011.
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"A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading."
William Styron
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