NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – The government has been urged to spur the growth of the publishing industry by offering investment incentives.
Former Vice President Moody Awori says this will enhance the penetration of learning materials, apart from creating employment.
"By strengthening the sector we will not only grow the economy but also create more jobs. Local publishers also need to encourage local and young authors so that they can write about Kenya\’s heritage as a way to market our country, as a cultural and tourism destination" he said.
Mr Awori who is the chairman of Moran East Africa Publishing Company says Kenyan publishers should pursue electronic publishing to cushion the sector from taxes on publishing paper and ink.
He spoke at an event to mark the formal launch of Moran East Africa Publishing Company which was formerly known as Macmillan Kenya.
The publisher is seeking to expand into the wider East African region including South Sudan.
On his part, the Managing Director David Muita urged for government funding to poor students to enable them purchase books.
"Sh500 availed for books per child annually is not enough to buy all the textbooks a child needs, it doesn\’t add up to a ratio of 1:1 when one recalls some books were bought eight years ago," he said.
Education Permanent Secretary James ole Kiyiapi who presided over the event pledged that the government would consult the industry to ensure a viable business environment.