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Book market: Minister of Trade reassures economic agents by reiterating the ban on the sale of school supplies in schools

(EcoFinances) – As is the case every year, the Minister of Trade (Mincommerce) has taken the necessary measures to protect the book market from outlaws who are in the habit of making incursions into this lucrative sector. In a press release published on Monday 28 August 2023, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana reassured economic agents on the eve of the start of the 2023-2024 school year by reiterating the ban on the sale of school supplies in educational establishments.

« In any event, any sale of textbooks and books within the confines of schools is prohibited, subject to penalties ranging from one to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of between FCFA 1,000,000 and FCFA 5,000,000 », the Minister declared.

Cameroon’s trade watchdog does not stop at banning the sale of school supplies in schools. He goes further, insisting that the sale of school textbooks outside defined areas reserved for licensed professionals is prohibited.

 « The marketing of books is carried out in bookshops, online or in well-defined areas and is reserved for licensed professionals, with the exception of second-hand books, for which purchase and resale centres may be created or opened under conditions and procedures defined by regulation », the Minister stresses, referring to the provisions of Law No. 2021/024 of 16 December 2021 on the organisation and promotion of the book industry in Cameroon.

A market worth around 140 billion FCFA to be secured

The penalty for experts in textbook counterfeiting is even more severe, with sentences of between five and ten years and fines of between FCFA 5 and 10 million. « Similarly, any person who counterfeits or sells counterfeit textbooks and schoolbooks will be liable to five to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of between FCFA 5,000,000 and FCFA 10,000,000, or to one of these two penalties only, without prejudice to the ancillary penalties provided for in the Criminal Code », says the Minister, informing that the relevant teams from its ministerial department will be deployed on the ground in the coming days to crack down on and punish all offences.

The reinforcement of the protection of the book market comes at a time when several analysts estimate that professionals in this sector could achieve a turnover of around 200 billion FCFA this academic year, if every child is provided with a book. But according to official figures, the market is worth between FCFA 50 and 140 billion a year.



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