Contact: Kim Pettit
ChristianTrade Association International
+1 (719) 432-8428
On Friday and Saturday 9-10 in Accra, Ghana, exhibitors from China, Denmark, Nigeria, South Africa, and the U.S. joined together with local booksellers and publishers for Marketsquare Africa – Ghana 2010. The convention was organized by ChristianTrade Association International together with Challenge Enterprises and the Ghana Book Publishers Association.
“We hope for lasting impact,” says Ben Boateng of Challenge Enterprises in Accra, Ghana. “Marketsquare Africa – Ghana 2010 was generally a success. Feedback is very positive and encouraging. I think that I can say people have a better perspective on what the Christian trade is all about. It changed their way of understanding how Christian entities operate.”
Amoh Emmanuel, managing director of the Presbyterian Book Depot in Accra, Ghana, agrees. ““Marketsquare Africa has caused me to determine to change our strategy in relation to our customers. We have not been sensitive enough to their needs. Instead, we have published and stocked in our store books and other products that are not moving fast enough. I am grateful for the challenge I have received here to change with our market in Ghana.”
Indeed, the market has been growing quickly. “Ten years ago,” says Boateng, there were only about four, or maybe six, Christian retail outlets in Accra. Now there are 40 to 50, a dramatic increase.” He anticipates the growth of Christian trade distribution points to continue, growing at least 15% in the next 10 years, with sales increasing by an average of 20% per year.” There has been significant church growth in the past 10 years.
Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the keynote speaker at the banquet held April 9, adds, “In 1900 less than 10% of Ghana was Christian; today it is over 50%. Christian truth liberates Africa from the negative influences common to all. God’s people are a people of the Book. As we in Africa recognize this truth, the Church will grow spiritually.”
“There are many challenges for publishers and the Christian trade here,” affirms Asante. “Among them are recognizing that foreign publishers appropriately have their own agenda. What we need is authentic African publishing. We are a story-telling culture, not a reading one.”
Marketsquare Africa – Ghana featured training for both booksellers and publishers provided by local and international experts, including Lawrence Darmani of Step Publishers, Woeli Dekutsey of Woeli Publishers, James Elwell of Tyndale House, and Jack Scott and Kim Pettit of ChristianTrade.
“We have a mandate to grow and reach out to many more people,” adds Boateng. “and to reach people in other parts of the country [with Christian resources]. Now some want to branch out and license Christian products. It is a step in the right direction and a plus for the Christian book trade.”
ChristianTrade president Jim Powell remarked that he is thrilled with the international suppliers who support reaching developing nations, like Ghana, by participating in events like Marketsquare Africa – Ghana. “We hope to hold conventions like this in Africa on a regular basis to sell products and rights, and to encourage and stimulate the Christian trade.”
ChristianTrade Association International is a worldwide association of nations, companies, and individuals committed to fulfilling the Great Commission by distributing Christian resources. It holds international regional conventions in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America; publishes an annual Christian-trade directory; hosts international events at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show; and serves as a catalyst for growing the Christian trade worldwide. For more information about exhibiting or sponsoring at next year’s show, please contact Kim Pettit (+1-719-432-8428 or kpettit@ChristianTrade.com). For more information about ChristianTrade activities, please visit www.ChristianTrade.com or e-mail info@ChristianTrade.com.