During the opening ceremony of the 4th International Board on Books for Young people (IBBY) Africa regional conference that took place on Tuesday at Hotel Africana, book piracy was cited as one of the major challenges faced by writers in Africa.
James Tumusiime, the managing director Fountain Publishers Ltd who made the keynote presentation said that enforcement of laws that govern trade in books is only possible in a few countries in Africa.
“Trade in books across the continent therefore is still a huge challenge due to such factors,” Tumusiime pointed out.
He went on to encourage schools to hold book reading competitions and award outstanding students as a way of instilling a reading culture in them since books are the best transmitters of life skills.
Lonah Magara, the representative of Janet Museveni, the Minister of Education and Sports, said that the Ministry has improved the proportion of the budget allocated to procurement of reading materials in schools.
“This was done to ensure that students have opportunities to interact with both text book and supplement reading material,” she said.
Magara lauded Bonita Evangeline Ledi Barongo, the chairperson Uganda Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association (UCWIA) for her efforts to promote reading in Uganda.
Bonita Treasure Murungi Arinaitwe, 11, a pupil from Aga Khan Primary School who has published 2 books at a tender age was also appreciated by Magara who encouraged others to borrow a leaf.
Magara also launched a book, “The Hare’s Reading Game”, and officially signed it.
Uganda is hosting the 3-day conference that is organized by the Uganda Children’s Writers and Illustrators Association(UCWIA).