17 August 2017

Cameroon: Didactic Materials - Supply, Demand Still Timid

Less than three weeks to school resumption, the sale of textbooks and other school items is yet to gain the business momentum.

Despite the approaching date-September 4, 2017-for schools to resume across the country for the 2017/2018 academic year, the usual momentum which uses to characterise this period is yet to be observed across the city of Yaounde. In most bookshops and stores Cameroon Tribune visited on August 16, 2017, the supply of didactic materials is still low while demand remains timid. At the Presbyterian Bookshop, PresbookMelen, the Branch Manager, TahFlovet told Cameroon Tribune that they are yet to get supply of textbooks found in this year's National Booklist from publishers. However, she noted that they have a good stock of textbooks which appeared on the booklist last year and repeated themselves this year. According to the Presbook Branch Manager, some titles in the booklist are yet to be available because the National Booklist was just released recently. But "most titles will be available soonest," she added. To the Zonal Cordinator of ANUCAM Education Books in Yaounde, Kiliri Emmanuel, the sale of textbooks is still low because the National Price List for textbooks is yet to be issued by the Minister of Trade and the booklist was just published. Meanwhile, he disclosed that most bookshops are still to place orders from them book publishers because they (bookshop owners) are waiting for schools to publish their booklists. A book publisher who opted for anonymity said they have already gone into production of their textbooks which were retained in the National Booklist. "By next weekend, we can vouch we would have produced thousands of textbooks which can satisfy demand in local markets," the source said. However, besides the timid supply of textbooks, unfriendly demand at this moment has been a factor which is still keeping away smiles from the faces of actors in the business sector. Josee Nowa told Cameroon Tribune she is still expecting her August salary before she will be financial viable to get schools material for her three kids. We learned book publishers and officials of the Ministry of Trade are in concertation and the National Price list for textbooks will be out before the week runs out.

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