Ghana, on Thursday, April 23, joined the world to virtually mark the World Book and Copyright Day.
The day was set aside by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to acknowledge the special contribution of books and authors, such as William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, to education, literacy and knowledge.
These contributions, the UNESCO notes, have encouraged people to value reading and how it has contributed to social and cultural progress of human existence.
In a statement to commemorate the Day, the Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) , on behalf of its stakeholders, encouraged all Ghanaians, particularly, students to continue to show their interest in the promotion of books and other literary works by reading and contributing to further the development of the industry.
The statement, signed by Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, the President of GPA, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, explained: “This year, the Ghana Publishers Association, together with stakeholders, notably, UNESCO, Copyright Office, the Ghana Association of writers, the Ghana Library Authority and the Ghana Book Development Council had planned to observe the day with activities at the Aburi Girls Senior High School.
“It was intended to be a memorable experience to acknowledge the role and contribution of students in the promotion of books and development of the Book Industry.
” We are all aware of the unfortunate circumstance the world finds itself. We have been forced to revise our way of life by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has virtually disrupted every activity that has been planned. “
It said, to contain the pandemic and reduce the potential of having a catastrophe, the event could, therefore, not be held at the School.
Meanwhile, the GPA said, as part of encouraging reading during the restriction on movements, it had collaborated with the Ghana Library Authority to provide electronic books for the GhLA’s online reading platform.
This was to provide reading materials (Fiction, Non-fiction and Journals) for students and general readership.
Some of the publishers were also making books accessible to readers via their websites to help engage readers to read more in this period, it said.
“The Ghana Publishers Association can assure everyone that publishers will keep publishing books to develop the educational system and enhance literacy for personal and national development,” the statement said.
The President of the GPA also advised all Ghanaians to adhere to the directives of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as citizens unanimously fought against the novel Coronavirus.
The Day has been marked by UNESCO since 1995.
This year, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is chosen to be the World Book Capital for 2020.
There are four set of themes for World Book Day 2020.
They are: “Reading in all its forms” ; “Development of the Book Industry Infrastructure; “Inclusiveness and Digital Accessibility; and “Empowerment of “Children through Reading”.