Ghana’s President and Vice-President and books and libraries

This blog talks usually about books and reading, and sometimes about Ghanaian libraries and librarians, and information relating to the first two overall topics.

It is interesting that at the moment both the President and Vice-President of Ghana have close ties with books and libraries, though in different ways.

I have mentioned before that John Dramani Mahama (now President of Ghana) wrote a memoir, My first coup d’etat and other stories, which was published early in July 2012. As Vice-President he undertook a mini-book tour in the US during which the book was formally launched. I haven’t read it yet, though I look forward to doing so. So a writer, an author as head of state – which Ghana has not had since Kwame Nkrumah and Prof K A Busia.

The connection with the now Vice President of Ghana – Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur – is a slightly indirect one, but there is a close family connection with libraries, in that his wife has been a practising librarian and continues to be involved in various aspects of the profession through consultancies and her key role in the Ghana Library Association‘s celebrations of its 50th anniversary.

Whether these involvements will have any impact on either the books or libraries sector is of course another matter, but one can hope!


July reads and buys

July seemed to be another relatively quiet month on the books side.

I feel I am getting increasingly distracted, especially by technology related matters, so don’t read as much as I used.  I guess I am looking for an ideal reading chair, with good lighting, and I still haven’t really found that yet.  The search is definitely on.

So I completed five books during the month: four fiction and one non-fiction. There was one African author, three non-Africans, and the last was a collection of British authors. Unusually mostly male authors (three) versus one female author, with the short story collection a mix. These are the titles:

  • Mixed blood, by Roger Smith [a pretty good debut thriller, based in South Africa]
  • What women want, by Paco Underhill [the need for marketing targeted at women]
  • The angel’s game, by Carlos Zuiz Zafon [fantasy, thriller, Faustian tale set in Spain]
  • Ox-tales – Air [collection of short stories]
  • Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel [started ages ago, and finally finished; Booker prize winning historical novel]

My book-buying was a bit restrained too – I only bought four physical books, and no ebooks 😦

  • The librarian as a manager, by Mac-Anthony Cobblah
  • Fulani in Ghana, by Steve Tonah
  • Six frames, by Edward de Bono
  • In pursuit of my destiny: Memoirs of a Parliamentarian, by Kosi Kedem

Interestingly two of the above are by colleague Ghanaian librarians, though Kedem did leave the practice of working in libraries for politics for several years.

I attended a couple of bookish related activities in July: a library related conference (CULD – Committee of University Librarians and Deputies) in Cape Coast and the official Burt award ceremony, which I posted about earlier.