I went to the official launch of the 9th Ghana International Book Fair 2010 at the GNAT Hall in Accra (on 22 June 2010). Although it was a relatively short function – less than an hour and a half – and started only half an hour late, it was in my opinion very much in the traditional mode.
There was an audience of maybe 100 to 150, of whom at least half were basic school students in uniform. There were about ten people sitting on the dais, which at the GNAT Hall is quite high up. There was also a banner behind the speakers. As usual those giving the speeches did not address any parts of their speeches to the children present, apart from asking the group from the Osu Children’s Library Fund to come and do a couple of short traditional dances.
Of course one of the major stories online quoted the Deputy Minister of Education, Elizabeth Amoah-Tetteh, MP and the representative from the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, Peter Achiaa, and totally ignored comments/speeches made by either the Chairman, who is the owner of SEDCO, a major representative of Pearson books here in Ghana, or that of the Ghana Book Publishers Association President. That of course is typical reporting for many local Ghanaian journalists, especially those working for the state newspapers and/or the Ghana News Agency.
Admittedly the coverage in the Ghanaian Times newspaper, which is actually a media partner/sponsor of the Fair, was a little better, and actually talked about what the Fair was about. Plus there was a photo, which always helps. But interestingly enough the headline in this article rather focussed on the revitalisation of the Ghana Library Board rather than the launch of the Book Fair.
In neither case was there was a reference to a relevant website, and though posters for the fair were distributed to all present (see above), the brochures for the Fair lacked basic information such contact details, whether phone, fax, email or web. At least the official website for the Ghana International Book Fair does indicate the dates of 2-6 November 2010, and there are contact details, but how would someone find this site?