I just discovered the Ghana Book Review website which seems to be pretty closely related to the Ghana Nsem site. Not a whole lot of information as to who or what are behind either of these sites, which I admit is a little frustrating. Naturally I homed in on the site about books. At the bottom of the home page, it says that copyright lies with the Africa Information Network, but there is no indication apart from an email and mobile number on the contact us page as to who is responsible for content. And there isn’t anything about why the site was put together. One frustrated viewer!
OK, to me it definitely looks like work in progress, and I don’t know really who it is for, and why it exists, though on the home page, I guess there is something fairly close to a mission statement which is: “Let’s recognize, celebrate and help build the library of work on Ghana, Africa, the world and the imagination.”
I suppose it is a start, but again I wondered “who would be visiting this site?” A budding author, in which case some of the addresses of Ghanaian publishers or those relevant to Ghana, are pretty inadequate. Many are incomplete, and may have a postal address, but many are lacking email, phone/mobile numbers and websites. Yes, I know not all publishers have their own domain names, but at least one or two key people may have email and mobiles are definitely out there.
It also pained me – though it is not surprising – that there was no mention of other key groups in the reading chain. For instance, what about libraries? What about bookshops and other booksellers? What about printers? What about book clubs? or competitions such as the one being run by JoyFM for children up to 14?
There are also associations or groupings such as the Ghana Library Association, Ghana Publishers Association, Ghana Booksellers Association, and Ghana Printers Association (though I am not exactly sure of the last). Naturally I shouldn’t forget the Pan-African Writers Association as well as other informal groupings of writers.
I guess what I am saying to the webmaster and/or whoever is responsible for content on this site: listen to some of the ideas that interested colleagues may be bandying about. We are all working towards the same goal.