About Us - History

The Ghana Book Publishers Association is a non-profit making, trade association of publishers in Ghana. It is a registered company limited by guarantee and without a share capital. It is the only collective voice of book publishers in Ghana. It serves as a rallying point for all book publishers in the country. GBPA provides a forum where publishers come together to deliberate on various issues affecting the industry at large. The Association promotes policies for the growth and development of the knowledge sector.

The Ghana Book Publishers Association formally came into being on 10th March, 1976 by being registered to operate by the registrar-General’s Department. The original executives and the founding houses were: Mr. Courage Kwami Segbawu (Sedco Publishing Ltd), Mr. N. Adzakey (Ghana Universities Press), Mr. Abdul Brown (Graphic Publishing Corporation), Mr. Kwesi Sam-Woode (Afram Publications (Gh) Ltd.), Mr. Benibengor Blay (Benibengor Book Agency), and Mr. Mark Botsio (Ringway Press).

The beginning of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) dates back to 1973, when the membership was mainly of local representatives of overseas, mostly British publishing multinationals. However, when well organized endogenous publishing houses began to emerge, the status of the overseas publishers’ representatives as publishers became unclear and this led to a certain amount of misunderstanding and loss of interest in the Association. In 1976, there was a policy in Acheampong’s regime, that all foreign publishing houses must be converted into local publishing firms. For this reason, the Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC) researched into the background of the Association and made recommendations on how it could be reorganised on a sound footing. This was in the first half of 1977. On 10th April, 1978 a new constitution of GBPA was accepted and officers and members of the Association’s Executive Council elected.

The local publishers came together when Mr. E. C. Tetteh, the then Manager of Advent Press, got a hint that a Whiteman has started a negotiation with the government to take over the publishing business of the country. He moved from one publisher to another and urged them to be up and doing. He was made the acting President of the Association in 1980.

Like all other organisations, the Association experienced a lot of problems which resulted in it becoming dormant for some years until 1984 when it was resuscitated under a re-invigorated Council comprising Messrs E.C. Tetteh (President), G. Adali-Mortty (Vice President), W. A. Dekutsey (Secretary), M. Botsio (Treasurer), J. Appiah-Berko, Jr (Financial Secretary), A. S. K. Atsu (Member), E. K. Nsiah (Member) and D. E. Krampah (Member).

The afore-mentioned Council started virtually on nothing, inheriting empty coffers and very low morale. But as a result of hardwork and a good team spirit, the Association was lifted from the doldrums and now it has emerged more strongly and more determined to make its mark on the publishing scene in Ghana. Membership then stood at 23.

The Association was initially called Ghana Publishers Association but it was changed to the Ghana Book Publishers Association during the resuscitation. The reason was for the Association to emphasise on the book aspect of publishing. For all these years, the GBPA was spineless but in 1991 the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) came to the aid with massive and timely institutional support, which enabled the association to offer something in return for the dues members had paid and had become weary of paying.

The Association has undergone a lot of developmental stages in terms of membership, programmes and professionalism.