By World Bank
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Publishing is a high-risk entrepreneurial activity that requires private sector investment by a few but yields benefits to society as a whole. Prerequisites and Components of a National Book Policy The most important prerequisite for a national book policy is considered to be political will, which should be accompanied by the allocation of sufficient resources for the implementation of the individual measures that form part of a National Book Policy. Other prerequisites include: functioning professional bodies (book publishers' associations, booksellers' associations, writers' guilds, and so on) with a clear understanding of what their own needs are; widely established support for democratic and participatory policymaking; and the capacity to undertake a detailed analysis of the political, social, cultural, economic, regulatory, and physical as well as technological factors that affect the viability and competitiveness of the book sector.
She is convinced that it is necessary to contribute to the development of national and regional publishing houses and to building the capacity of all resources of the book chain. She concludes that the present situation in Africa is characterized by a broad gap between what is necessary in order to contribute to social change and education and what is offered by local industries in the field of local language publications for educational and other purposes. Maria Stridsman highlights some of the most important aspects of the Swedish International Development Agency's (SIDA) strategy, ranging from international purchase of textbooks and other special materials such as atlases and dictionaries, to support of local publishing and printing.
More writing in national languages should be encouraged in order to help the creation of a lit- Page 9 erate environment, which is an essential component of a flourishing publishing industry. Workshops to familiarize people with all the options and to work out what they consider relevant criteria for evaluating and selecting books must be developed. Finally, James Smith addresses the place and role in developing countries of educational content on CD-ROM and the Internet. Electronic publishing refers exclusively to the publication of any kind of content on any form of electronic media.