Some publishers in Rwanda propose the establishment of a book fund which they believe it can contribute in providing the public with affordable reading materials.
Today books seem to be expensive due to the high cost of their production. Publishers need a fresh partnership between public and private sector.
They say the market of books needed in schools is now in the hands of public entities.This has impacted negatively the business of private publishers according to Fiston Mudacumura, the Managing Director of Mudacumura Publishing House.
He told Topafricanews that “The partnership of public and private sector is needed in this. In the coming days it’s necessary that the government opens the door of partnership with private sector.”
It’s in this regard that publishers propose a book fund believed to reduce the price of books, Mudacumura emphasized.
“At the market, the average price of books we produce is Rwf 2000. However, some people especially in rural areas can at least buy a book between Rwf 300-500, as it has revealed by a research in Gicumbi District in 2016.The fund is needed and we believe it to contribute in reducing the price of books”, he added.
Publishers also need decisions on tax breaks of basic materials that are used in books publishing so that books reach the market less expensive.
Today efforts are being put in getting books that are used in schools in digital format and once ICT is accessed to all, books in hardcopy will no longer be necessary, officials from MINEDUC have explained.
The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary education, Dr Munyakazi Isaac said: “Today all new books used in schools are accessed in hard copy and digital format. We have bought copyright of those written earlier so that we get them in a digital format to be used in schools through programs of OLPC at primary school and Smart classroom in secondary schools. Once ICT is accessed to all, books will be accessed electronically.”
In the press conference announcing the National Literacy Day, the Minister of Sports and Culture, Nyirasafari Esperance, assured efforts in the partnership between public and authors in the process of providing Rwandans with reading materials, calling upon them to use what are already available to build a good start.